8. Church Officers—General Classification

  1. Under the New Testament, our Lord at first collected His people out of different nations, and united them to the household of faith by the mission of the apostles, endued with miraculous gifts. This office has ceased.
  2. The whole polity of the Church consists in doctrine, government, and distribution. And the ordinary and perpetual officers in the Church are Pastors, or Ministers of the Word, who are commissioned to preach the Gospel and administer the sacraments; Ruling Elders, whose office is to have the government and spiritual oversight of the church; and Deacons, whose office is to collect and administer the people’s offerings of mercy and benevolence and to minister to their physical and material needs. In accordance with the Scripture, these offices are open to men only.
  3. No one who holds office in the Church ought to usurp authority therein, or receive any official titles of spiritual preeminence, except such as are employed in the Scriptures.


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