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Job Descriptions for Board Officers

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By Renee Ruchotzke

How to Make Your Board Dramatically More Effective Starting Today A Board Member's Guide to Asking the Right Questions

By Gayle Gifford

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What are typical job descriptions for the officers on a congregational board? Here is summary of typical roles and responsibilities.

President (aka Moderator, Board Chair)

  • Holds overall responsibility for the integrity of the decision-making process of the board
  • Serves as primary financial signatory for the congregation
  • Sets a tone for meetings that reminds the board it is leading the mission and vision of a faith community (e.g. lighting a chalice, sharing an opening reading or hymn, checking-in on everyone's personal and spiritual lives)
  • Designs meeting agendas (in conversation with minister or executive/executive team) in alignment with annual goals
  • Sends out a board packet with the agenda and reports 5-7 days before the board meeting
  • Manages the time the board spends on its work
  • Fosters a culture of trust and transparency
  • Fosters a culture of accountability of people following through on their commitments
  • Fosters a culture of learning with ongoing educational opportunities for the board
  • Fosters a culture of hospitality and inclusion for different cultural expressions and lead in creating and articulating shared group expectations
  • Trains and on-boards new board members (this can be delegated) and next President
  • Chairs board meetings (this can be delegated or rotated)
    • Keeps meeting on track so that all business can be completed in the allotted time
    • Makes sure all voices are heard before bringing a motion to a vote

Vice President (aka Assistant, Moderator, Board Chair)

  • In the absence of the President, acts with all of the powers and functions listed above.
  • Is in regular consultation with the President so that they are ready and able to serve as needed
  • May be "president elect"
  • Often may serve as a board liaison to or a convener of a Program Council, in congregations with that format.


  • Holds overall responsibility for the integrity of the documents created by the work of the board
  • Takes attendance at board meetings and ensures there is a quorum (defined by the bylaws) at both board and congregational meetings
  • Takes and records minutes including
    • Meeting's date & time
    • Who is in attendance
    • Reports
    • Text of motions, actions, proposed actions, decisions and assignments including movers and seconders of motions. A general but not detailed description of discussion may also be included.
    • Time the meeting adjourned
  • Sends out minutes to board members within 5-7 days after the meeting so that action items and assignments are remembered
  • Makes approved minutes available to the congregation's members
    • Gives a summary of board decisions in the congregation's news communications (may be delegated)
  • Keeps an indexed record of board-approved policies and procedures and makes them available to the congregation's members


  • Holds overall responsibility for the integrity of the financial oversight that is the work of the board
  • Responsible for understanding and reporting the financial status and health of the congregation
  • Provides an up-to-date concise ("dashboard") report of the congregation's financial status for review by the rest of the board
  • Responsible for proposing policies that provide secure checks and balances regarding financial matters (may be delegated)
  • Responsible for understanding and complying with the congregation's financial policies
  • Responsible for understanding and complying with the government laws and rules that apply to the congregation (may be delegated)

Recorder (optional, can be delegated)

  • Responsible for keeping an accurate record of congregational membership

All Trustees

  • Show respect and appreciation for members and staff of the congregation
  • Be familiar with the congregation's bylaws and policies
  • Regular attendance at board meetings
  • Make a financial commitment to the congregation at a leadership level
  • Agree to disagree in private but to support the decisions of the board in public
  • Keep confidentiality around personnel and other matters held in Executive Session
  • Serve in a way that the individual's gift match the needs of the congregation
  • Serve in a way that supports the president's leadership
  • Serve in a way that includes and encourages different cultural expressions and creates shared group expectations
  • Be in service and accountable to the goals, Mission, Vision and Covenant of the congregation, not one's own needs or desires.
  • Be a learner


About the Author

Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) has served as a Congregational Life Consultant in the Central East Region since September of 2010. As program manager for Leadership Development, she is responsible for providing consultation, programming and training material (including webinars and videos) on...

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