The Committee on Ministry’s primary responsibility is faithfulness to God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. First and foremost, the Committee on Ministry is an expression of the church of Jesus Christ. The Committee on Ministry is a community of the Holy Spirit. In every deliberation, decision, and action, the Committee on Ministry seeks to embody the “one another’s” of the New Testament.
One of the most telling examples of the connectional nature of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the Committee on Ministry. We recognize we need each other to follow Jesus Christ. We need each other to discern God’s will and intention. We need each other to decide the way forward. We need each other to serve as witnesses for God’s love, grace and justice.
Many documents and forms, including the COM Transitional Handbook, that will be helpful to you may be found in the Document Center under COM Documents.
The Presbytery of Detroit calls and charges the Committee on Ministry to provide leadership and guidance to the Presbytery in the area of pastoral leadership.
  • Through the Committee on Ministry, the Presbytery of Detroit ordains, installs, receives, transfers, dismisses, retires, removes and disciplines its members who are Teaching Elders.
  • Through the Committee on Ministry, the Presbytery guides congregations in calling new Teaching Elders.
  • Through the Committee on Ministry, the Presbytery provides moderators for congregations, commissions Ruling Elders to limited pastoral service, recommends temporary pastoral leadership for congregations, and oversees congregations without Teaching Elders.
  • Through the Committee on Ministry, the Presbytery encourages, guides, and resources congregations in many other areas of ministry and mission.
  • Through the Committee on Ministry, the Presbytery promotes peace and justice within congregations and inquiries into the source’s difficulty and division.
  • The Committee on Ministry consists of 30 people, in approximately equal numbers of Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders.
  • The quorum for a Committee on Ministry meeting is one-half of the active members plus one.
  • A term is three years. Members may be nominated to serve a second consecutive term.
  • The leadership structure is decided by the Committee on Ministry cabinet.
  • Cluster Co-chairs are appointed by the Chair and Vice-Chair of Committee on Ministry.
  • The Committee on Ministry meets once a month and when called in special meeting.
  • Presbytery Executives source the Committee on Ministry.
  • All COM members serve as liaisons to congregations.
  • The liaison is the first point of contact for COM matters.
  • The liaison should contact the clerk of session and/ or moderator at least bi-annually and as often as circumstances warrant.
  • Common assignments include:
  • Making arrangements for clearance and exit interviews
  • Guiding congregations through the pastoral transition process
  • Monitoring temporary pastoral relationship contracts and renewals
  • Interpreting COM policies and procedures to sessions and clergy
  • The liaison makes reports, brings necessary actions and requests for additional resourcing to COM as warranted.
  • The liaison is expected to report conflict and/or other extraordinary circumstances, beyond the liaison’s responsibilities or capability, to the Cluster co-chairs.
  • The liaison contacts the Stated Clerk for counsel, whenever a congregation is considering a person with extraordinary circumstances or from outside the PCUSA denomination for a pastoral position, to ensure that the process complies with Book of Order and the Transition Manual requirements.
  • COM Cabinet is made up of the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Cluster Co-Chairs (appointed by the COM Chair and Vice-Chair). Presbytery Executives are ex-offIcIo.
  • Chair of COM develops the Agenda for COM Cabinet meeting.
  • COM Cabinet assigns liaisons to congregations.
  • COM Cabinet reviews annually the Terms of Call for Teaching Elders.
  • COM Cabinet assigns liaisons to congregations.
  • COM Cabinet arranges for annual review of terms of call.
  • COM Cabinet oversees the ongoing review of COM process and procedures.
  • COM Cabinet ensures the Church Leadership Connection services are being utilized correctly
  • COM Cabinet establishes the Pastoral Response Team to respond to sexual misconduct issues, providing on-going training within the Presbytery of Detroit, ensure that new members, CRE’s, Christian Educations, and Presbytery Employees receive training.
  • COM Cabinet inquiries into churches going through conflict or transition.
  • COM Cabinet provides orientation for new COM members and ongoing training of all COM members.
  • Establish Agenda for COM meeting
  • Establish Agenda for COM Cabinet Meeting
  • Processes governing body correspondence.
  • Minutes of the COM
  • Develops and maintains a list of pastors available for interim ministry and other temporary positions; ensuring that initial reference checks have been completed before communicating availability to liaisons. (It is understood that a contextualized clearance interview is required for all pastoral positions in the Presbytery.)
  • Updates policies and procedures and other official COM documents
  • Support to the committee
  • Provides leadership and insight to enhance the committee’s effectiveness and relationships within the Presbytery and its congregations.
  • Advises the committee as it addresses conflict, transitions, and particular concerns within congregations.
  • Conducts governing body reference checks and consults with liaisons regarding reports to PNCs.
  • Support to the committee
  • As needed, consultant on Book of Order and parliamentary procedures.
  • As needed, ensures that motions to Presbytery are correct as to content and form.
  • Processes calls, dissolutions, and transfers.
  • Office support staff
  • COM webpage
  • Maintains COM files as it relates to contracts and terms of call, annual reports, personal information, PIFs, exit interviews of churches they have served, and other materials relevant to their tenure in the Presbytery. Files of clergy who have left the Presbytery or who have died are kept in the clergy archives. The COM chair and liaisons may make an appointment to look at clergy files. Files may not be taken out of the Presbytery Office. Ensure receipt of minister information form and receipt for sexual misconduct policy.
  • Compiles annual terms of call report to be published in the Presbytery docket.

Questions? Need to contact your liaison?
Please contact the current chair of the Committee on Ministry.