Presbyterians cut 75 national staff jobs: Radical restructuring

May 30, 2006

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) announced this month that 75 national staff jobs will be cut at its Louisville, Kentucky, headquarters, along with 55 positions in its overseas missionary force.

The reductions amount to “the most radical restructuring” of the mainline Protestant denomination’s mission program since 1993, Presbyterian News Service reported. Most of the 75 national staff cuts were effective immediately on May 1, while others will occur by October.

The church’s General Assembly Council, which functions as its board of directors, determined that the cuts were necessary to reduce the mission budget by $9.15 million.

The changes will eliminate three churchwide divisions: Congregational Ministries, National Ministries and Worldwide Ministries. The senior executives of those divisions will be among those whose jobs will be eliminated October 1.

“The senior staff felt that our witness would be strengthened by realizing the significant savings that would come from reorganizing the senior leadership level to also focus on the objectives rather than programs,” said John Detterick, executive director of the General Assembly Council.

Among programs that will be eliminated are those related to criminal justice, environmental justice and older-adult ministries. Programs related to small and rural churches, racial and ethnic caucuses and staffing in a Washington office will be scaled back. –Religion News Service