Presbyterian Polity & History

Course Description & Information

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a basic understanding of both the history of the Presbyterian church and its polity, that is the way in which it governs itself. This course was last taught in 2011 and is scheduled again for the fall, 2014.

2014 Course Outline

Meets on:

  • Friday, October 3, 2014, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 4, 2014, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Required Texts:

Gray, Joan S. and Joyce C. Tucker. Presbyterian Polity for Church Leaders, 4th edition (Louisville, KY: Geneva Press, 2012), 177 pp.

Book of Order: The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Part II 2013/2015 (Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly, 2013), 215 pp.

Optional Texts:

The Book of Confessions: The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Part I (Louisville, KY: Office of the General Assembly, 2007), 370 pp.

Book of Common Worship (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1993), 1107 pp.

Book of Occasional Services: A Liturgical Resource Supplementing the Book of Common Worship, 1993 (Louisville, KY: Geneva Press, 1999), 297 pp.

Robert’s Rules of Order: Newly Revised, 11th edition (Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2011), 716 pp.

With the exception of Presbyterian Polity for Church Leaders, the above may all be found in your churches or in the libraries of your pastors. NOTE: It is important that you have the 4th edition of Gray and Tucker as it reflects changes in the form of government that occurred following the 219th General Assembly.

Gray & Tucker and the Book of Order (emphasis on sections F, G, and W) should be read before our meeting on Friday.

Friday’s class will focus on church history. Saturday’s class will focus on worship and governance. A short test will be taken at the end of Saturday’s class and an essay will be due (submitted electronically) by Friday, October 10. The essay will be assigned during the first class on Friday, October 3.

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