II. The Assemblies of the Church
A. General Provisions
This supplement deals with two separate matters: synodical review of application for candidacy by persons not recommended by the Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) Board of Trustees and/or the Candidacy Committee and appeals from decisions, acts, or course of conduct of agencies, boards, or committees of the Christian Reformed Church. The separate sets of procedural rules applicable to these two matters are set forth below.
Part A. Synodical review of application for candidacy by persons not recommended by the CTS Board of Trustees and/or the Candidacy Committee.
In the event that an applicant should feel aggrieved by or dissatisfied with a decision of the CTS Board of Trustees and/or Candidacy Committee regarding the processing of the applicant’s application for candidacy status, the following procedure will give the applicant recourse to synod. This procedure is not an appropriate avenue by which to ask synod for amendment of the Church Order or change in relevant synodical decisions. Rather, it provides the right for an applicant to have the application for candidacy considered by synod in the light of the then-existing requirements for candidacy, whether those requirements are set out in the Church Order or in other decisions of synod. This procedure is a special kind of appeal: the Judicial Code shall not be invoked, and the rules relating to other appeals shall not apply.
1. If the CTS Board of Trustees and/or Candidacy Committee or its designee declines to process an application for candidacy at any stage or if candidacy is not going to be recommended, the Candidacy Committee shall promptly inform the applicant in writing of such act or decision and the reasons therefore.
2. Notwithstanding such notice, the applicant has the option to have the application processed, including submission to synod. To exercise this option, the applicant must give written notice of such exercise to the Candidacy Committee and the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church within fourteen (14) days after the receipt of the notice from the Candidacy Committee.
3. If the applicant gives the notice described in the foregoing paragraph, the application shall be processed, and the Candidacy Committee shall submit such application to synod with such recommendations and supporting reasons as the Candidacy Committee shall consider appropriate.
4. At least ten (10) days before synod is scheduled to convene, the applicant shall submit to the executive director, with a copy to the Candidacy Committee, a written statement of facts, argument, and documents in support of the application.
5. Synod shall review the application and documents in support thereof, the decision of the board or the Candidacy Committee, and the reasons for such decision. The applicant and the Candidacy Committee shall have the right to make a presentation to the assigned advisory committee, and, if that committee recommends and synod so decides, the applicant and the Candidacy Committee shall be allowed time to address synod on the matter.
6. Both the applicant andthe Candidacy Committee have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the church at any stage of the review process.
Part B. Appeals from decisions, acts, or course of conduct of agencies, boards, or committees of the Christian Reformed Church.
The right to appeal from decisions, acts, or course of conduct of agencies, boards, or committees of the Christian Reformed Church is established. The Judicial Code may be invoked in connection with such appeal, and if it is, the appeal process will be governed by the Judicial Code. If the Judicial Code is not invoked, the provisions and procedures set forth in the following paragraphs shall apply:
1. Board, agency, or committee shall mean and include any agent or employee of such board, agency, or committee while such agent or employee is acting within the scope and authority of his or her employment with such agency, board, or committee.
2. Appeals under this part of Supplement 30-b may be led only by the following:
a. A member of the Christian Reformed Church.
b. An assembly (council or classis).
c. An employee of an agency, board, or committee whose decision, act, or course of conduct is to be challenged by the appeal.
3. The individual or assembly filing the appeal shall be called the appellant. The agency, board, or committee whose action is appealed shall be called the respondent.
4. No appeal under this part of Supplement 30-b may be filed until the appellant shall first have exhausted all reasonable and direct efforts according to procedures prescribed by such agency, board, or committee to resolve the appellant’s complaint or grievance.
5. The only grounds for an appeal under this part are that the decision, act, or course of conduct of a respondent is contrary to the Church Order, the mandate of the respondent, or a previous decision of the assembly to which the respondent is responsible.
6. In an appeal under this part, an appellant who is other than an assembly or an employee must allege — and the onus remains on him or her to show — that the decision, act, or course of conduct appealed from substantially affects him or her directly, either materially or personally, as an individual apart from other members of the church.
7. In an appeal under this part by an employee, the appellant must allege — and the onus remains on her or him to show — that the decision, act, or course of conduct appealed from substantially affects her or him directly, either materially or personally, in her or his capacity as an employee.
8. An appeal from a decision, act, or course of conduct of an agency, board, or committee shall be led with the assembly to which the agency, board, or committee is responsible.
9. For an appeal to be timely, it must be led within ninety (90) days after completion of efforts to resolve the matter under provisions in paragraph “4” above.
Because the completion of internal efforts to resolve the matter may not always indicate a precise date for the commencement of the ninety (90)-day appeal period, the following standards apply for computing the beginning of the appeal period:
a. If the agency, board, or committee gives the appellant a written communication stating that the internal procedures for resolving the grievance or complaint have now been completed, the ninety (90)-day period begins with the date the appellant receives such letter.
b. In the absence of a written communication described in paragraph “a” above, the appellant may give written notice to the agency, board, or committee involved that he or she believes that the internal procedures for resolving the grievance or complaint have been exhausted, and, if there is no written response to such notice within thirty (30) days from the date of the receipt of such notice, the ninety (90)- day appeal period begins with the expiration of a thirty (30)-day period beginning with the receipt of such notice. For the purpose of this paragraph, the notice shall be deemed to have been received on the date it was personally delivered to the office of the agency, board, or committee or five days after the mailing by regular mail.
c. If the notice referred to in paragraph “b” above is given and the agency, board, or committee responds to the appellant within thirty (30) days that there is a further internal procedure, the appellant must pursue the additional procedure specified, and rules “a” and “b” will again apply to determine the commencement of the appeal period when the further step has been completed.
10. If the appeal is to a classis, when classis considers the appeal, both appellant and respondent shall be allowed reasonable time to make an oral presentation with respect to the appeal. The classis shall consider and decide every appeal submitted to it. Classis shall decide on the appeal within one (1) year from the date the appeal is received by the stated clerk of classis. If classis has not decided an appeal within such one (1)-year period, either appellant or respondent has the right to appeal to synod without waiting for the decision of classis.
Both the appellant and the respondent have the right to appeal the decision of classis to synod.
11. If the appeal is initially to synod, the rules and procedures in Church Order Supplements 30-a, sections B and C apply.
12. Both the appellant and the respondent have the right to be represented or counseled by a member of the church at any stage of the appeal process.