Guide to Using Hekman Library Online

Today's Hours

The synod of the Christian Reformed Church in North America represents the churches of all the classes. Synod meets annually in June with 196 delegates: one minister, one elder, one deacon, and one other officebearer from each classis. The tasks of synod include responsibility for creeds, the Church Order, liturgical forms, hymnals, principles of worship, and moral/ethical positions.

Synod also provides general oversight for the ministries undertaken jointly by CRC churches. These include educational institutions, a broadcast ministry, world and domestic mission agencies, a world relief agency and a publication ministry, as well as pastoral ministries such as chaplaincy, disability concerns, pastor-church resources, race relations, safe church, and social justice and world hunger concerns.

From 1857 to 1865 the highest governing body in the denomination was the classical assembly. Once a second classis was formed in 1865, the general assembly was formed to adjudicate questions beyond the scope of the classes. In 1880 the general assembly was renamed the synod. The classis met several times per year, while the general assembly/synod met annually or bi-annually.

Minutes, Acts, and Agendas of Synod

The Archives maintains a list of every meeting of the CRC Synod (and the classical assembly before it), along with the location of the meeting, the officers, and links to the full-text minutes, agendas, acts, and other documents. When the original documents are in Dutch, the English translations are included as well.

The Church Order of the Christian Reformed

The Church Order and its Supplements show how congregations of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC) live together and organize themselves. The Archives provides links to the full texts of the Church Order and Supplements from 1881 to the present. The early documents were published in Dutch. The Church Order has been published in English since 1920. It has been published annually since 1976, with the exception of 1985.