Definitions for Agencies & Commissions, Affiliate Ministries & Associations

Overarching Definition: Pan-Orthodox organizations have the direct potential of contributing to unity and the realization of the stated goals of the Assembly. The Assembly has an interest in assuring that the organizations that undertake the work of the Orthodox Church in the name of the Orthodox Church further the educational, missionary and philanthropic aims in a manner consistent with the spiritual, theological, ecclesiological, and canonical traditions of the Orthodox Church, in a coordinated manner to assure coherence among the various actors.

Agency: Those not for profit organizations that undertake core ministries of the Church on behalf of Orthodox Christians in the United States of America in the name of, and with the blessing of, the Assembly of Bishops.

Commission: Those organizations or consultative bodies established under the authority of the Assembly of Bishops to coordinate specific ministries or departmental work across jurisdictional lines.

Media Ministries: Those not for profit corporations or associations preparing and/or broadcasting or distributing Orthodox content over social, electronic, or traditional media, who wish to hold themselves out as "affiliated with the Assembly of Bishops.” In order to be affiliated with the Assembly of Bishops, a media ministry must demonstrate that their financial structure serves the church as a whole, and not a particular agenda; either of self-enrichment or a particular jurisdiction. The ministry must demonstrate a rounded, inclusive vision of Orthodoxy in America.

Orthodox Resource Ministries: Those not for profit corporations or associations engaged in study, education and advocacy from an Orthodox perspective around a focused theme or social issue. In order to be affiliated with the Assembly of Bishops, an Orthodox Resource Ministry is expected, on a regular basis, to communicate the fruit of its study to the individual bishops of the Assembly of Bishops as a resource for their ministries, as well as make their material available for use by the Assembly of Bishops, and by parishes and departments of the Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States. Also, an Orthodox Resource Ministry is encouraged to make available the archives of resource materials that inform its education and advocacy.

Outreach Ministries: Those not for profit corporations or associations organizing and providing an Orthodox response to individuals and communities, not otherwise served by existing agencies of the Assembly of Bishops.

Professional Associations: Field-specific voluntary organizations of Orthodox professionals organized to share their experiences and expertise as a resource for one another, strengthening the Orthodox profile in the various professions and setting voluntary guidelines for their work, where relevant, and available to be called upon to resource committees of the Assembly of Bishops.

Local & Regional Initiatives: Ministries that are local or regional in nature, and not national or international in their programs or ministries, may affiliate with the local clergy brotherhood as a way to deepen their connection to the pan-Orthodox pastoral leadership in the relevant locality.