¶ 703. Definitions, Structures, and Titles-1. General Council-An organization created by the General Conference to perform defined responsibilities of review and oversight on behalf of the General Conference in relation to the other general agencies and to perform other assigned functions shall be designated as a general council. General councils are amenable and accountable to the General Conference and report to it. The General Council on Finance and Administration is a council.3
(Note: The Council of Bishops and Judicial Council are authorized by the Constitution and are not created by the General Conference.)
2. General Board-A continuing body of the Church created by the General Conference to carry out assigned functions of program, administration, and/or service shall be designated as a general board.
3. General Commission-An organization created by the General Conference for the fulfillment of a specific function for an indefinite period of time.
4. Study Committee-An organization created by the General Conference for a limited period of time for the purpose of making a study ordered by the General Conference. The Connectional Table shall provide for coordination with and among the study committees except where General Conference otherwise designates.
5. Program-Related General Agencies-The general boards and commissions that have program and/or advocacy functions shall be designated as program-related general agencies. These agencies are amenable to the General Conference, and between sessions of the General Conference are accountable to the Connectional Table for those functions outlined in the 900 ¶¶s: the General Board of Church and Society, the General Board of Discipleship, the General Board of Global Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, the General Commission on Religion and Race, the General Commission on United Methodist Men, and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.4 In all matters of accountability, episcopal oversight as provided in ¶ 427 is assumed.
6. Administrative General Agencies-The general boards and commissions that have primarily administrative and service functions shall be designated as administrative general agencies. These agencies are the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, The United Methodist Publishing House, and the General Commission on Archives and History and General Commission on Communication, the last two of which also carry program-related responsibilities for which they are accountable to the Connectional Table.
7. Each general agency, unless otherwise provided, shall adopt the following executive staff titles:
a) General Secretary-the chief staff officer of a general agency. Each general agency is entitled to only one general secretary, who is its chief administrative officer.
b) Deputy General Secretary-the chief staff officer assigned to oversight of a major programmatic or administrative unit(s), or with major programmatic or administrative responsibilities with a general board or council.
c) Associate General Secretary-the associate staff officer of a general agency or the chief staff officer of a division or a department of a general agency.
d) Assistant General Secretary-the assistant staff officer of a general agency or the chief staff officer of a section or office of a general agency.
e) Treasurer-the staff financial officer of a general agency, entrusted with the receipt, care, and disbursement of agency funds. In some general agencies there may be associate and/or assistant treasurers. There are general agencies in which “treasurer” is not a staff title but is an officer elected from the voting membership of the agency.
8. Theme-A theme is a theological focus, missional emphasis, prophetic statement, or program catalyst for ministry. A theme enhances programs or ministries basic to the life of the Church and serves as a rallying point for constituents involved in those programs.
9. Missional Priority-A missional priority is a response to a critical need in God’s world that calls The United Methodist Church to a massive and sustained effort through primary attention and ordering or reordering of program and budget at every level of the Church, as adopted by the General Conference or in accord with ¶ 906.1. This need is evidenced by research or other supporting data, and the required response is beyond the capacity of any single general agency or annual conference. However, the ongoing priority of The United Methodist Church both in program and budget is to proclaim the good news that salvation comes through Jesus Christ.
10. Special Program-A special program is a quadrennial emphasis initiated by a general program-related agency in accordance with
¶ 905, approved by General Conference, and assigned to a general program-related agency. The program shall be designed in response to a distinct opportunity or need in God’s world that is evidenced by research or other supporting data and shall propose achievable goals within the quadrennium.
11. Program-A program is an ongoing or special activity designed and implemented to fulfill a basic disciplinary responsibility of a general agency accountable to the Connectional Table.
12. Association or Fellowship-Organizations not created by nor officially related to the General Conference and intended to provide professional relationships conducive to sharing professional techniques and information for groups within the denomination shall be designated as associations or fellowships.
3. See Judicial Council Decision 496.
4. See Judicial Council Decision 496.