The Council of Delegates (COD) is the governing board of the Christian Reformed Church. As an ecclesiastical governance entity serving in the interim of synod (highest authority), the COD provides governance by means of the authority delegated to it by synod and with its synodically elected membership representing classes or serving in at-large capacities.
The COD has 53 members with a representative delegate from each of the 49 classes, in addition to four at-large members—one from the United States and three from Canada. The COD normally meets three times per year to
- Lead the integrative ministries of the CRC in light of the Mission, Vision, and Callings established by synod, providing recommendations to synod when the Mission, Vision, and or Callings need to be reconsidered.
- Provide an intermediary role that serves three purposes: (1) To receive and understand input from congregations and their members (constituents), (2) bring the work and excitement of ministry to congregations and their members, and (3) understand the church—its various contexts and times—to such a degree that the COD assists in casting an appropriate vison for the future growth of the church.
Synod mandates the Council of Delegates with the following responsibilities:
- Provide appropriate financial management and advance policy guidelines and limits within which personnel function, thereby ensuring the financial integrity of the denomination's agencies and ministries.
- Identify when necessary, evaluate regularly, and support constructively administrative leaders of the denomination within the scope of policies.
- Provide the criteria (goals) and evaluation of progress toward goals for the unified ministry of the CRC while establishing the contours (policies) within which personnel pursue such goals.
- Attend to the organizational structure and health of the denomination by developing policies of assessment (e.g., Ministry Plan counts and measures; personnel surveys, etc.), reviewing outcomes, and addressing goals and policies as needed.
The Christian Reformed Church is incorporated in both Canada and the United States. Both countries have a corporation for ReFrame Ministries (formerly Back to God Ministries International) and the CRCNA (total of four corporations within the COD). Those who serve as Directors of these corporations overlap in defined ways with those serving on the Council of Delegates. Therefore, meetings of corporate directors will often occur during the same time frame as the COD meetings, facilitating coordination of responsibilities of all entities.
The Executive Committee meets as needed.