WHAT IS A CRE*?
A Commissioned Ruling Elder is an elder of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to whom The Book of Order grants, "a local commission by the presbytery to lead worship and preach the gospel, watch over the people, and provide for their nurture and service."
WHO OVERSEES THE CRE PROGRAM?
The CRE Committee. The task of this committee is to provide and oversee the training of CRE candidates and to certify each candidate's readiness to be commissioned by Presbytery. That commission may be for full-time or part-time work, salaried or volunteer.
Throughout the training period, candidates receive the support of their home church and pastor as well as a liaison from the CRE committee, a Teaching Elder Mentor, their peers in the program, the seminar participants and the Committee as a whole. After successfully completing the coursework and demonstrating their proficiency and readiness for the tasks ahead, candidates are commended to the Presbytery for commissioning. Throughout the period of any commission, the Commissioned Ruling Elder candidate is under the supervison of the Presbytery and an assigned Teaching Elder who serves as their Mentor.
*Prior to the New form of Government, rulling elders who were commissioned for pastoral work were called Commissioned Lay Pastors. The new term is Commissioned Ruling Elder - the title used in this document.
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