ECO invites followers of Jesus who share a Reformed, Presbyterian heritage to reclaim a sense of covenanted biblical community. 

We are delighted that you are considering membership in ECO. The Apostle Paul reminded the disciples in Philippi to “rejoice in the Lord always…” We ask the same of you as you discern your participation in ECO. The challenges we face in an increasingly secular culture are very real — but even greater is the promise our Savior made to be with us, “…day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, The Message). As you consider ECO, do so with joyful expectation of what God has planned for you and where God may place you in mission and ministry.

If joining ECO will mean leaving the PC(USA), we encourage you to begin by reading this document on “7 Things to Consider Before Leaving the PC(USA)


Joining ECO As A Congregation

Individual presbytery’s policies on dismissal are structured differently. Early in your discernment process, consult your presbytery’s particular policy to determine when to begin conversations with your presbytery’s leadership.

Objectives of the Application Process:

  • Ensure all ordained officers will receive, adopt, and be bound by the Essential Tenets and agree to ECO’s moral standards
  • Ensure congregations understand and embrace the missional vision of ECO
  • Ensure that a thorough process does not distract congregations and their leaders from their primary call: to make disciples of Jesus Christ

Congregational Application Process:

  1. Request an ECO application packet via email from office@eco-pres.org
  2. Study the values, theology, and polity of ECO to discern if ECO is an appropriate denominational home
  3. Complete and return the application via email to office@eco-pres.org
  4. Alternatively, mail to: ECO Office, 5638 Hollister Ave. #200, Goleta, CA 93117
  5. Conduct in-depth Session discussions around the Narrative questions in the packet
  6. Session and staff representatives meet with an ECO liaison to review the application and answer questions
  7. Members of the ECO Commission on Assimilation meet with the Session
  8. Session recommends dismissal to ECO
  9. Your application is submitted to the ECO Board for approval
  10. Sign contracts for health and retirement benefits plans (starting the 60-day eligibility period)
  11. Congregation votes to request dismissal from the PC(USA) in order to join ECO
  • General Support: ECO is committed to maintaining low administrative costs and only requiring 1% of a congregation’s annual unrestricted giving toward local and national ECO support. This is ordinarily less than congregations are contributing in other denominations. General Support funds will resource foundational costs associated with ECO, as well as any of the special areas noted below. If you would like to give toward this effort, on our donation site, designate your gifts toward “General Support.”

Joining ECO As A Pastor

Objectives of the Application Process:

  • Ensure pastors will uphold the theological and moral standards of ECO
  • Ensure pastors embrace the missional vision of ECO, desiring to minister boldly in a post-denominational environment
  • Ensure that a thorough process does not distract pastors from their primary call: to make disciples of Jesus Christ

Pastor Application Process: 

  1. Request an ECO application packet via email from office@eco-pres.org
  2. Study the values, theology, and polity of ECO to discern if ECO is an appropriate denominational home
  3. Complete and return the application via email to office@eco-pres.org
  4. Pay for the background check fee via credit/debit card by calling Shelby Goss at 805-201-9019
  5. Alternatively, you can mail the application and background payment (check made to ECO) to:  ECO Office, 5638 Hollister Ave. #200, Goleta, CA 93117
  6. Meet with an ECO liaison who will review the application and any potential questions
  7. Meet with members of the Commission on Assimilation
  8. Submit your application to the ECO Board for approval
  9. Sign contracts for health and retirement benefits package
  10. Being Ordained by ECO

Core Qualities for ECO Ordination Candidates:

To minister effectively, we believe pastors should possess three core qualities. 

  1. The development of biblical and theological knowledge that is Reformed and evangelical in nature. Pastors need to be able to effectively communicate this knowledge in a postmodern world.
  2. The ability to have particular ministry skills. These skills include preaching and teaching, as well as the ability to lead adaptive change and develop leaders.
  3. Emotional and spiritual maturity.

Ordination Process:

For an overview of the ordination process and requirements, please see the ECO Ordination Manual.

Questions? Contact Us.