TABLE OF CONTENTS: COM Manual & Resources (as of May 18, 2020)

Commission on Ministry (COM) for the Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley

PREFACE to COM Manual & Resources 

I. Commission on Ministry (COM) Responsibilities

      Policy:  Commission on Ministry Responsibilities

      Procedures:  Commission on Ministry Practices

      Resource: COM Representative to Churches – Checklist

      Resource: COM History

      Resource: The Advisory Handbook for Ministry Committees-Commissions (current ed)


II. On Calling a Pastor

      A. Installed

            Policy/Procedures: The Search Process to Call an Installed Pastor     First Read 6/6/2020

            Resource:  Agenda for Special Cong. Meeting to Elect an Installed Pastor

            Policy / Procedures:  Ordin/Installation of Ministers of Word and Sacrament

            Form:  Pastoral Call Form for Installed Pastor

            Form:  AC for Ordination/Installation of a Minister of Word and Sacrament

            Procedure / Resource: Temporary to Installed Pastor (NEW) 

      B. Temporary

            Policy / Procedure: Temporary Pastor (Commissioned Lay Pastors and temporary pastors formerly                     known as Stated Supply or Interim) 

      C. All Pastors

            Policy/Resource: Terms of Call Part I - General   First Read 6/6/2020

            Policy/Resource: Terms of Call Part II - Reimbursable Items    First Read 6/6/2020

            Policy/Resource: Terms of Call Part III - Compensated Time Off   First Read 6/6/2020

            Resource: 2020 Minimum Compensation

            Form:  Financial Reality Check    First Read 6/6/2020

            Forms:  2021 Annual Compensation Worksheets   COM revision in progress as of 05/18 

            Policy: Maternity/Paternity and Family Care Leave 

            Policy/Procedures: Pastor transferring within the Presbytery     First Read 6/6/2020

            Policy:  Dissolution of Pastoral Relationships      2nd Read 6/6/2020

            Resource:  Exit Interview upon Dissolution of Pastoral Relationship     2nd Read

            Form:  Dissolution of Pastoral Relationship    2nd Read 6/6/2020 

            Resource:  On Calling a Pastor (PCUSA resource, current edition)

            Resources:  Church Leadership Connection (PCUSA resources, current editions)

                  Preamble and Ministry Information Form (MIF) - Church

                  Instructions for entering a Ministry Information Form (MIF) - Church

                  Preamble and Personal Information Form (PIF) - Pastor

                  Instructions for entering a new Personal Information Form (PIF) - Pastor 

            Resource:  Candidate / Pastor / Minister Indebtedness


III. Congregational Life

      Policy / Procedures:  Moderators of Churches without Pastors

      Resource:  Conversation Starters

      Resource:  Session Responsibilities

      Resource:  Expectations of Session Members (NEW)

      Resource:  Clerk of Session’s Tool Box (NEW)

      Resource:  Manses / Housing (NEW)    Changes as of 05/11/2020

      Resource:  Conflict Resolution

      Resource:  Sharing Pastoral Leadership (NEW)    First Reading 6/6/2020

      Resource:  Sample: Sexual misconduct policy /child & youth protection policy (NEW)


IV. Minister Membership within Presbytery

      Policy / Procedures / Resource: Minister Members within Presbytery

      Resource: COM Exam for Those Seeking Membership within PSV (NEW)

      Form: COM Examination for those seeking membership within PSV

      Resource: OGA-AdvOp – RecMinisters – Other Denominations (NEW item) 


Policies / Procedures / Resources / Forms working on:

      II. On Calling a Pastor

            Temporary -

                  Session agenda to review covenant and contract with Temp Pastor (NEW)

                  Sample covenants and contracts

            All --

                  Resource:  Ethical Conduct for Pastors (ready for COM input as of 5/18)

                  Resource:  Standards of Ethical Conduct (210th General Assembly/1998)


Items above replace old Policy (recommend removing and archiving):

                  Policy 26 - Ministerial Ethics


      V. Miscellaneous Items (NEW section):

      Resource:  COM Considerations for Requesting an Administrative Commission

      Resource:  PSV Confidentiality Policy (11/04/2014)

      Resource:  Policy for Discernment regarding Gracious Dismissal

      Resource:  Laboring outside the bounds of Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley 

COM will continue to develop materials for the COM Manual & Resources that will be helpful to the work of the Commission, our congregations, presbyters, and the Presbytery at large such as the item below. 


  • Pastor, Counselor, and Advisor to MoWS and Congregations

Book of Order G-3.0307 Pastor, Counselor, and Advisor to Its Ministers of the Word and Sacrament and Congregations



Topical Listing of Committee on Ministry Forms and Policies

If you prefer the numerical index of forms and policies - click here

There are two columns below - two different kinds of documents

Clicking on the form or policy number(left item) opens a PDF document  

Clicking on the descriptive Title of the document (right) opens a MS Word or Rich Text Document


 Vacancy Process

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Policy 3   – Pastor Search Process (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 5Interviewing Applicants Seeking Presbytery Membership (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 7   – Affirmative Action/ Equal Employment Opportunities (first reading June Assembly)

*Policy 9   – Dissolution of Pastoral Relationship

Policy 13Policy on Pastors Entering, Leaving, or Transferring within the Presbytery (first reading June Assembly)

Part II  continued  - forms for Calls and Contracts, Interviewing, Dissolving Pastoral Relationships, Interim reports, EEO, Installations

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Form 1AContract for Interim Pastors

Form 1BContract for Commissioned Lay Pastors

*Form 4   –  Dissolution of a Call or Appointment Form

*Form 12Questions to the Pastor during an Exit Interview

Form 13First Year Ministry Assessment Report Form (first reading June Assembly)

Form 26Financial Reality Checklist (Pastor Search process)


PART 3 – Resourcing Church Professionals, Compensation Policies

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Policy 6Guidelines for Receiving Ministers from Other Denominations

Policy 14   – Full-time and Part-time Positions (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 19   – Minimum Compensation Standards

Policy 20   – General Standards for Ministerial Employment and Compensation (first reading June Assembly)

(including Continuing education, Study leave, Sabbatical)  Document above is 18 pages in length

Part III  continued - various guidelines for Pastors, Students, Lay Pastors

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Policy 22Guaranteeing Pastor's Pension Dues (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 23   – Pastor Salary Supplement Fund

Policy 24AEarly Ministry Institute (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 24B removed - New Pastorate Workshop no longer exists

Policy 26   – Guidelines for Ministerial Ethics (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 27   – Guidelines for Mentors (first reading June Assembly)

Part III  continued - various report forms, Temporary contract

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Form 16   – Quarterly Report Form for Mentors (first reading June Assembly)


PART 4 – Resourcing Churches

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Policy 11Moderators in Churches without a Pastor

Policy 12Duties of a Session without a Pastor

Policy 30   – Conflict Resolution

Policy 28   – Commissioned Lay Pulpit Supply and Commissioned Lay Pastor

Policy 29  – Criteria for Exercising Additional Responsibilities - Commissioned Lay Pastor

Policy 23   – Pastor Salary Supplement Fund (first reading June Assembly)

Policy 22Guaranteeing Pastor's Pension Dues

Policy 21Maternity/ Paternity Leave

Part IV continued - Triennial Visits, Moderator's report, Liaison checklist 

PDF forms   Editable Documents

Form 6   – Moderator’s Report for a Session without a Minister

Form 7COM Liaison Checklist