The Christian Reformed Church in North America has two governance structures. One deals with ecclesiastical matters such as doctrine, ethical issues, and church life and practice. The second is in place to govern the ministries undertaken jointly by CRC congregations.

Ecclesiastical Governance

The ecclesiastical structure involves the church assemblies: the council (local assembly of the elders, deacons and minister(s) of a congregation), the classis (regional assembly), and the synod (bi-national [Canada and U.S.A.] assembly).

The ecclesiastical structure is as follows:

Note: We speak of our major assemblies as broader, not higher, assemblies. Therefore, the grid is horizontal, not vertical.

Ministry Governance

Although the synod maintains general oversight of CRC ministries, it has created a system of boards to govern individual ministries and agencies, or educational institutions. Currently there are three boards, each governing a different ministry, with authority to make the necessary decisions for the respective ministry.

In addition to these three, another board has been established with the authority to supervise the management of the agencies and committees established by synod, including the planning, coordinating, and integrating of their work. This board is known as the Council of Delegates of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. It operates as an agent of synod and reports yearly to synod on its work.