Leadership & Government
The Presbyterian form of government vests authority in laypersons elected by local congregations who are known as "ruling elders". Together with "teaching elders" who are the ordained ministers, they are responsible for the leadership and government of their particular church as well as the larger church. Ruling elders serve as members of the session at their local church. They represent the other members of the congregation, yet their primary responsibility is to discover and represent the will of Christ as they govern.
Elders can be elected as commissioners to the higher governing bodies: presbyteries, which are composed of all the churches within a particular geographic region; synods, which are composed of several presbyteries; and the General Assembly, which represents the entire denomination.
The Session of Second Presbyterian Church
Members are elected for three year terms