Talent Bank

Serve on Commissions, Boards, and Agencies

The Commission on Nominations nominates members of the Reformed Church in America for election by the General Synod to its commissions, boards, and agencies. All confessing members of the RCA are eligible to serve. A brief description of the commissions, boards and agencies appear below.

Please consider whether service on a commission, board, or agency is something to which God is calling you. If it is, then please provide the Commission on Nominations with information about yourself by completing a profile form. (All submissions are acknowledged by an email. If you don't hear anything, please drop an email to ltarbous@rca.org. Please note that only the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader should be used to download, fill in, save, and submit this form as an email attachment.)

What the Commissions, Agencies, and Boards Do

GENERAL SYNOD COUNCIL: As the Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and program agent of the General Synod, as well as the Committee of Reference during the annual convening of the General Synod, the council seeks to enable participation in God's work in the world and to equip congregations and assemblies for mission and ministry. It establishes policies for programs to fulfill these purposes. It oversees and evaluates the performance of the General Secretary, who is ultimately responsible for staffing and program implementation. It supports, strengthens and coordinates the commissions, boards, and institutions of the RCA; prepares a budget to sustain established priorities; and otherwise administers the affairs of the RCA between sessions of the General Synod. The council functions according to the principles of "policy governance," originated by John Carver but modified to function within RCA polity. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 3, Sec. 6)

Additional information on GSC membership expectations can be found here.

COMMISSION ON CHRISTIAN ACTION: Members must have the desire and the demonstrated ability to make the gospel and the Christian way of life applicable to contemporary social issues. The commission informs and advises the church concerning current social issues and the spiritual and Christian principles by which critical evaluation may be exercised on those issues and proper action taken. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 2)

COMMISSION ON CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP AND EDUCATION: A general knowledge of, and interest in, Christian education are required. At least three members must be in discipleship/education roles in RCA churches and one must be a member of faculty at an RCA-affiliated institution. The commission develops and advocates for strategies for people of all ages to be fully included in the mission and life of the RCA; monitors, evaluates, and reports on the RCA’s progress in ministries of education and discipleship with children, youth, adults, and families; collaborates with RCA staff, assemblies, agencies, and institutions to promote and strengthen the next generation in discipleship within RCA congregations; and advocates for the ongoing preparation of those who carry out the church’s teaching ministry. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Article 5, Sec. 12)

COMMISSION ON CHRISTIAN UNITY: The commission initiates and supervises action with respect to the RCA's membership in or affiliation with ecumenical bodies. It engages in interchurch conversations and appoints ecumenical delegates to other church bodies. It informs the church of current ecumenical developments and advises the church concerning its ecumenical participation and relationships. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 3)

COMMISSION ON CHRISTIAN WORSHIP: An interest and competence in the fields of liturgics, arts, or church music are required. The commission is responsible for informing the church of current developments in liturgics, especially those in the Reformed churches, and of new translations of the Scriptures. It advises the church of changes needing to be made in its liturgy and monitors the production of worship resources. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 11)

COMMISSION ON CHURCH ORDER: A general knowledge of and interest in the structure, government, and function of the denomination is required. Two members must be laypersons with legal training and experience. The commission is responsible for making recommendations concerning the content, structure and style of the Book of Church Order, and for providing advisory responses to requests for interpretation of the Book of Church Order. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 4)

COMMISSION ON HISTORY: Knowledge of, and interest in, the history of the RCA are required. Professional competence in this field is desirable. The commission is responsible for advising the General Synod and RCA Archives on the collection of official records and documents of the RCA, its churches, assemblies, boards, and institutions; for oversight of the Historical Series; and for researching and promoting an interest in the history and traditions of the RCA. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 5)

COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL BUSINESS: Legal training and experience are required of lay members. A broad general knowledge of, and background in the structure, government, and function of the denomination are required of all members who are nominated by their regional synods. The commission carries out the responsibilities assigned to it in the Disciplinary Procedures. (Book of Church Order, Chapter 2, Part I and Part II; BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 6).

COMMISSION ON NOMINATIONS: The commission is responsible for nominating members for the General Synod Council and all General Synod commissions and agencies. Each member, nominated to the commission by their regional synod or one of the racial-ethnic councils, is responsible for gathering information on nominees within the bounds of the member's own synod or racial-ethnic group. The commission searches the denomination for suitable nominees and monitors the inclusiveness of the membership of the various commissions and agencies with respect to geography, gender, age, cultural and social differences, and academic or other appropriate expertise. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 8)

COMMISSION ON RACE AND ETHNICITY: The commission is responsible to advise the church on policies and initiatives that address issues of institutional racism; serve as an advocate for transformation of the Reformed Church in America in regard to its multiracial and multiethnic life; and recommend policies, objectives, guidelines, and strategies to achieve these ends. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 7)

COMMISSION ON THEOLOGY: Competence in theology is required. The commission studies theological matters arising in the life of the church and referred to it by the General Synod or initiated within the commission itself. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 9)

COMMISSION FOR WOMEN: Members, both women and men, must share a strong desire to work for the full and complete participation of women in realizing the vision of a church and society inclusive of all gifts of all persons. The commission's responsibilities include providing resources for developing awareness and raising consciousness concerning human liberation; providing information for appointments to insure partnership of women and men in professional and decision-making leadership of the denomination; assisting the church toward insuring inclusive attitudes, images, and language in all published materials; working for systematic change to enable the full participation of women in church and society; and collaborating with other RCA bodies and ecumenically on issues affecting women. (BCO, Chap. 3, Part I, Art. 5, Sec. 10)

BOARD OF BENEFITS SERVICES: The purpose of The Board of Benefits Services is to manage and administer the retirement and insurance programs required by BCO Formulary #5, the Reformed Church in America funded assistance programs, and to also ensure the availability of appropriate life insurance benefits, long-term disability benefits, and any other programs or services related to the financial and physical wellbeing of eligible ordained ministers and their dependents, and of other employees of agencies, assemblies, and institutions of the Reformed Church in America.

CHURCH GROWTH FUND: The CGF renders financial assistance in the erection or improvement of buildings for churches and other agencies or instrumentalities that are authorized by, and subject to the general oversight of, the Reformed Church in America or any of its regional synods or classes.

MINISTERIAL FORMATION CERTIFICATION AGENCY: The purpose of the Ministerial Formation Certification Agency is to strengthen the ministry of Word and sacrament in the RCA by overseeing and awarding the Certificate of Fitness for Ministry to RCA candidates graduating from non-RCA seminaries or pursuing an approved alternate route. The agency works closely with congregations, classes and seminaries in implementing the General Synod's standards for the preparation for ministry. The agency provides courses and programs for the purpose of equipping future ministers of Word and sacrament.

Responsibilities of General Synod Commissions

Each General Synod commission, board, and agency has its own purpose and responsibilities.