Pastor Nominating Committee

About the Pastor Nominating Committee

As defined by the Presbyterian Church (USA), a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) represents and is elected by the whole congregation. This committee has the ultimate responsibility for nominating a minister to the congregation for election as the next pastor.

In fulfillment of that role, over a number of months, the PNC works through the pastoral search process, listening for the call of Christ and “participating in God’s own choice” for our next pastor.

Electing a Pastor Nominating Committee

The current Nominating Committee of Fourth Church — which was most recently charged with presenting the slate of officer candidates elected at our Annual Meeting — is responsible for accepting nominations for the Pastor Nominating Committee, reviewing the recommendations, and presenting a slate to the congregation for a vote to approve the PNC.

Requirements and Expectations of PNC Members

Members of the PNC must be active members of Fourth Church for at least one year, demonstrate faithful participation in both worship and the life of our church, and support the ministry and mission of Fourth Church through financial stewardship by pledging.

Responsibilities of the PNC include, but are not limited to


Process for Selecting the PNC

Nominations for the PNC were received from the congregation during March (with a deadline of April 7, 2024). All members of Fourth Church were invited to submit a recommendation for the PNC — on behalf of others or themselves. The Nominating Committee is now reviewing those recommendations in order to prepare a slate of candidates to present to the congregation for their vote.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualifications to serve on the PNC?
Members of the PNC must be active members of Fourth Church for at least one year, demonstrate faithful participation in both worship and the life of our church, and support the ministry and mission of Fourth Church through financial stewardship.

You do not need to have served as a Deacon, Trustee, or Session Elder to be eligible for consideration.

What is it like to serve on the PNC?

The best way to learn about this is to hear from others who have served on previous PNCs. Thus the Nominating Committee hosted two information sessions in mid-March at which individuals who have previously served on a Pastor Nominating Committee or an Associate Pastor Nominating Committee spoke to their experiences. We also benefit from the perspective of our Interim Pastor Tom Are Jr., who has participated in more than a dozen pastoral searches in his ministry.

How does the Nominating Committee select nominees from the recommended individuals?

The Nominating Committee reviews all recommendations and confidentially deliberates to prepare a slate to be presented for a congregational vote.

The committee seeks to put forth a group of nominees that represent the diversity and inclusivity of our congregation and have a breadth of experiences at Fourth Church so they might, as a committee, dutifully represent different groups within our community.

The Nominating Committee will prayerfully discern how to best match the needs of the PNC with the individuals recommended.


How Long Does the Pastoral Call Process Take?

The length of time for a pastoral call process can vary widely, but for a church like Fourth Church, it is likely to take at least six months.

The last PNC process to call Shannon Kershner took approximately two years, but we have reason to believe this search will be more expedient. Critical accelerants to the process are both (1) the advances in technology that now facilitate virtual meetings and the ability to worship and listen to sermons online as well as (2) the work of the Long-Range Planning Task Force, which provides clarity around Fourth Church’s vision and strategy for our next horizon, information that is critical for conversations with pastoral candidates.

That said, the process is inherently uncertain, as we do not know what the pastor candidate pool will look like, and the PNC will only conclude its work when it finds the right candidate to recommend to the Fourth Church congregation.


Questions, Comments, and Updates

Throughout the proceses to elect a Pastor Nominating Committee, please do not hesitate to send questions or committee member recommendations to the Nominating Committee.

And if you do not already receive the Fourth Church weekly email newsletter, we encourage you to subscribe so that you do not miss any updates in this season. You can sign up at or by sending us your email address.




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