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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 46 : Jurisdiction

Paragraph 6 :

46-6. When a Presbytery shall dismiss a minister, licentiate or candidate, the name of the Presbytery to which he is dismissed shall be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery dismissing him until received by the other.

[HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The current PCA text dates to minor changes adopted with PCUS 1925. The earlier PCUS editions are closely similar.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 20-6, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 155
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 20-6, Proposed text, pp. 61-62
3. PCUS 1933, RoD, XV-§300
4. PCUS 1925, RoD, XV-§300

When a Presbytery shall dismiss a Minister, licentiate, or candidate, the name of the Presbytery to which he is dismissed shall
be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery dismissing him until received by the other.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, XV-5

When a Presbytery shall dismiss a minister, probationer or candidate, the name of the Presbytery to which he is dismissed shall
be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery dismissing him, until received by the other.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, XV-7

When a Presbytery dismisses a Minister, probationer or candidate, the name of the Presbytery to which he is dismissed shall always
be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery dismissing him, until received by the other.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, XV-7

When a presbytery dismisses a minister, probationer or candidate, the name of the presbytery to which he is dismissed shall always
be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the presbytery dismissing him, until received by the other.

PCUSA 1858 draft, Revised Book of Discipline, X-2 and X-4

II. The same principle applies to a minister, who is always to be considered as remaining under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery which dismissed him, until he actually becomes a member of another.
IV. No Presbytery shall dismiss a minister, or licentiate, or candidate for licensure, without specifying the particular Presbytery or other ecclesiastical body with which he is to be connected.

OTHER COMPARISONS :
OPC 2005, Book of Discipline, II-C.2
The presbytery shall have original jurisdiction over all the teaching elders who are on the roll of the presbytery. The names of teaching elders shall be placed on or removed from the roll of presbytery only by order of the presbytery, and according to the provisions of the Form of Government and this Book of Discipline. If a teaching elder has been dismissed to another presbytery, he shall be considered subject to the jurisdiction of the presbytery which dismissed him until the time when his name is placed on the roll of the presbytery (cf. Form of Government, Chapter XXIII, Section 20) to which he has been dismissed. The receiving body shall acquire jurisdiction over him when his name is placed on the roll of presbytery (cf. Form of Government, Chapter XXIII, Section 20) and at that time he shall be invested with all the rights and privileges of membership therein, which rights and privileges shall not be impaired by the filing of a complaint, unless and until such complaint shall be sustained by the highest judicatory to which complaint is made.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. ), on XV-5 [§280]:
280.--V. When a Presbytery shall dismiss a minister, probationer or candidate, the name of the Presbytery to which he is dismissed shall be given in the certificate, and he shall remain under the jurisdiction of the Presbytery dismissing him, until received by the other.
No one can demand as a right dismission to a Presbytery in which he is not going to reside, nor to a Presbytery not in this Church or in a Church in correspondence with this Church, or, at least, such as might be taken into such correspondence. Nor can one be dismissed to any ecclesiastical court or authority not a Presbytery, nor to more than one Presbytery at the same time.

INTERPRETATION :
1989, p. 151, 17-82, III. 6. That the advice of the Committee on Judicial Business regarding the communication from Review and Control be ratified as amended. The question was: "Would it be proper to accept as evidence the letter of a chairman of a presbytery committee stating that a dismissal had been granted?"
"ANSWER:
No. BCO 46-6 requires that the presbytery issue a certificate when dismissing a minister, licentiate, or a candidate. According to BCO 10-4, the official certification of an action of a court is that which is issued over the signature of the stated clerk." Adopted.



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