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Presbyterian Church (USA)

One of the two major Presbyterian bodies in the United States. The Presbyterian Church in America is the smaller and more conservative of the two. Always use the full name Presbyterian Church (USA), or PCUSA on subsequent references, to avoid confusion.

The PCUSA is divided into 173 (as of 2010) local governing bodies called presbyteries, which are then grouped into regional synods (16). Each congregation is led by a “session” of elders, although Religion News Service style is to generally not use that word.

The General Assembly meets every two years and is the highest legislative body in the denomination. The highest court in the church is called the Permanent Judicial Council.

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