Elders and Congregational Leaders

Leadership development is about multiplying the ministry and mission of the whole people of God through congregational learning.

Local, regional and national training opportunities

In many Presbyteries there are accredited Adult Trainers. They are local volunteers, who can deliver a variety of events and courses for elders and Kirk Sessions.


The Mission and Discipleship Council has developed and supported the Eldership within the life of the church, and produced the following information to download:

Long Service certificates

Long service certificates, sign by the Moderator, have to date been available for presentation to elders and other in respect of not less than thirty years of service. At the General Assembly of 2015, it was agreed that further certificates could be issued at interval so ten yeas thereafter. If should be note that the period of years of service, not (for example) years of ordination in the case of an elder. In the case of Sunday School teachers and Bible Class leaders, the qualifying period is twenty-one years of service. Certificates are not issued posthumously, nor it it possible to make exceptions to the rules., for example by recognizing quality of service in order to reduce the qualifying period, or by reducing the qualifying period on compassionate grounds, such as serious illness. Applications for Long Service Certificates should be made by email to the Principle Clerk (pcoffice@churchofscotland.org.uk) by the parish minister or by the session clerk on behalf of the Kirk Session. Certificates are not issued from this office to the individual recipients, nor should individuals make application themselves.

Session Clerk

This booklet written by A Gordon McGillivray covers appointment, kirk session meetings and other aspects of the role of session clerk. It is in the process of being updated. Conferences for Sessions Clerks are held bi-annually.

Clerk to the Congregational Board

This guide, also by A Gordon McGillivray, covers the main duties of the clerk and the constitution and responsibilities of the Congregational Board.

Congregational office bearers guidance

The Law department has produced the following guidance notes covering duties and responsibilities. Advice and information about employment contracts and constitutions are also included in law circulars.

To find about other congregational resources

Contact Wayne Morris, Senior Administrator, Congregational Learning Team, at wmorris@churchofscotland.org.uk or at the Church's office in Edinburgh.