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Friends of CRTS Guidelines

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Friends of Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries (Friends of CRTS)

Pennsylvania non-profit supporting Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries

Corporate Office: 2419 Trotter Drive, Allison Park PA 15101

Email: friends@crts.edu

 

FRIENDS OF CRTS Guidelines

= Adopted by the Board of Directors on June 21, 2002

= Last amended on July 28, 2011

I.     Introduction

1.  These guidelines gather together from our Articles of Incorporation, our Bylaws and decisions of the Board of Directors various principles and policies of the Corporation.  These guidelines do not in anyway supersede these Articles, Bylaws or decisions.   Any changes to these guidelines must be approved by the Board of Directors. 

 

2.  Our corporate name is Friends of Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries.  We also operate under the name "Friends of CRTS".  Our corporate office is at 2419 Trotter Drive, Allison Park PA 15101.  Our EIN is 26-0001533.

 

3.  The purpose of the Corporation is "to provide Christian Mission support to Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries in the United States and Abroad" (Articles of Incorporation).  Our Bylaws give the following specifics:

(a) To provide financial support to various Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries for specific projects such as the purchase of library books or student scholarships.

(b) To obtain property or to raise endowment funds, all of which property or funds shall be used exclusively for the benefit of one or more Chinese Reformed Theological Seminaries. The objective of the Corporation shall be to transfer such property or funds to a qualified Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary. Property or funds shall be transferred to a given seminary when it is deemed by the Corporation that that seminary is able to operate and maintain a stable, Reformed, financially sound Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary.

(c) To assist any presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of America or a presbytery of any other Reformed Church which is in good standing with the Presbyterian Church of America to send one or more of its ordained or licensed ministers to teach at a Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary.  The minister must have a call from the Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary to which they are being sent.

 

II.     BOARD OF DIRECTORS

1. The Board of Directors consists of five to eleven members. All members must be 21 years old, be members of a Church that supports the Reformed Faith and be able to affirm in good conscience that they hold to the teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith.  A simple majority of board members shall be elders, teaching or ruling, of the Presbyterian Church of America.  (Bylaws)

 

2.  The annual meeting of the Board is in conjunction with the PCA General Assembly.  Special meetings of the Board may be called by the Chairman or by a majority of the Board.  At least 10 days before a meeting, the Secretary must mail, Email or deliver in person to each director a notice, stating the place, date, and hour of the meeting.  (Bylaws)

 

4.  A majority of the Board of Directors in attendance at any duly called meeting of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business.  There shall be no voting by proxy.  Members may attend via conference call.  Any action that may be taken at a meeting of the directors may be taken without a meeting, if motion is signed by or emailed by a majority of all directors in office. (Bylaws)

 

5.  Directors serve for a period of three years and until successors are elected.  (Bylaws)

 

6.  The Board may declare vacant the office of a director if the director requests in writing the Board to do so or the director does not fulfill one or more of the qualification requirements. (Bylaws)

 

7.  The Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of those present at a duly called meeting of the Board, except as restricted by the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation law of 1988, as amended.   All such amendments must be presented to the Board at least 10 days prior to the duly called meeting.  (Bylaws)

 

8.  Any director or officer of the Corporation is authorized to receive reasonable compensation from the Corporation for services rendered and for actual expenses incurred when authorized by the Board.  No director shall receive compensation merely for acting as a director.  (Bylaws)

 

III.     OFFICERS

1.  The executive officers of the Corporation are the Chairman (also known as the President), the Vice Chairman (also known as the Vice President), the Secretary, and the Treasurer.  (Bylaws)

 

2.  The Chairman of the Board is elected at the annual meeting, and serves a one (1) year term. The Chairman presides at Board meetings and appoints the members of all Board committees, subject to the advice and consent of the Board.  (Bylaws)

 

3.  The Vice Chairman of the Board is elected at the annual meeting, and serves a one (1) year term.  In the absence of a Chairman, the Vice Chairman performs the duties of Chairman.   (Bylaws)

 

4.  The Secretary is elected by the Board and serves until a successor is elected.  The Secretary has general charge of the corporate books and records, keeps minutes of the actions of the Board, and sends all notices required by law or these Bylaws.  Corporate records include: (1) minutes of all Board meetings; (2) resolutions adopted by the Board; (3) the Corporation's Articles and all amendments to them currently in effect; (4) the Corporation's Bylaws and all amendments to them currently in effect; (5) a Board of Directors register, and (6) accurate financial records which shall be reviewed on an annual basis.  (Bylaws)

 

5.  The Treasurer is elected by the Board and serves until a successor is elected.  The Treasurer of the Corporation is the custodian of the funds, property, securities or other assets belonging to the Corporation. The treasurer keeps an accurate record of the finances of the Corporation.  (Bylaws)

 

6.  In the event the Secretary or Treasurer is unable or unwilling to act, the Chairman shall be authorized to appoint a provisional Secretary or a provisional Treasurer from among the Board members.  (Bylaws)

 

IV.     Executive Director

1.  The executive director is appointed by the Board and serves a three year term.  The Board may replace the executive director at any meeting with or without explanation.  The Chairman may appoint a temporary executive director.

2.  The executive director is responsible to oversee the execution of the decisions of the Board, and in general to perform the duties of a chief executive officer of a corporation.  All the actions of the executive director are to be clearly based on the principles and policies established by the Board.   The executive director does not have the authority to make or act on any principles or policies that have not been established by the Board.  If there is any lack of clarity about a particular course of action, the executive director shall consult the Chairman of the Board for advice.  (In general, the executive director should keep the Chairman informed about any difficult, important, or unclear issues that he faces.)

3.  The Board may appoint other employees and volunteers as the need arises.  The Board shall give any employee a clear job description, term of appointment and benefit package to sign.  Unless explicitly stated otherwise in the job description the executive director shall supervise such appointees.  The Board may replace or remove such appointees with or without explanation.

 4.  An Asia Director and a US Director are appointed by the Board and serve a three-year term.  The Asia Director will be primarily a ministry position.  The US Directorship will be primarily organizational and promotional but also involves ministry in the US.  Either director may serve as the Executive Director.  The Asia Director is head of our Asia mission team.  He shall be responsible to coordinate the work of our Asia missionaries, to see that they meet regularly for fellowship and mutual oversight, as required in our guidelines, and to discuss with missionaries any ministry suggestions or proposed changes in their ministry.  The Asia Director shall be the liaison between our missionaries and the Executive Board.  However, he will not be involved in financial issues.  Missionaries will send their annual financial request directly to the Executive Board/Director, and discuss with the Executive Board/Director any other financial issues.  (Missionaries may communicate with the Treasurer about accounting or other insignificant issues, but all significant financial issues should be taken to the Executive Board/Director.)

V.     Financial policies

1.  The Board of Directors passes a yearly budget at the annual meeting.  The budget may be modified at any time by a decision of the Board.  The fiscal year begins Jan 1st.

2.  All expenditures of the Corporation must be within the budget and specifically assigned to some line of the budget.  The executive director may approve expenditures from a given line in the budget if they are less than $100 US.  The Chairman may approve expenditures from a given line in the budget if they are less than $300 US.  Expenses over $300 US from a given line in the budget require board approval (board members may be notified and respond via Email).

3.  The only exception to the rule that expenditures must be within the budget is for contributions that are given for


a specific purpose that is not included in the budget.   Such contributions must fulfill one of the purposes of the Corporation, must be approved by the Chairman and are subject to the $100 US / $300 US limits given above.

4.  All expenditures must have the approval of both the executive director and the treasurer.  The executive director first approves any expenditure.  The treasurer then verifies that the expenditure is permitted by the financial policies of the Corporation (i.e. that it is within the budget, etc.) – and then withdraws money from the corporate banking account (usually in the form of a check).   If the treasurer or the executive director is unclear about the propriety of a financial transaction, they should seek the advice of the Chairman.  The Corporation does not reimburse anyone for any expenses that were not approved by both the executive director and treasurer.

5.  All financial transactions must pass through the corporate banking account.  The treasurer shall deposit all contributions and income into a corporate banking account, and the treasurer shall draw all expenditures from a corporate banking account (usually in the form of a check). 

6.  The Corporation has an accountable reimbursement Policy.  This policy allows the executive director to be reimbursed for business expenses incurred in administrating and promoting the Corporation.  The policy also allows missionaries who the Corporation supports to be reimbursed for specific business expenses incurred in carrying out their work as a missionary.

7.  The Corporation has a very tight fiscal policy.  All expenditures must be clearly and directly to fulfill one of our three specific goals, or for the administration or promotion of the Corporation.

8.  The Corporation does not have a petty cash fund.

VI.     Missionaries

1.  The Board may elect to support any Missionary who meets the basic requirements of our Bylaws (an ordained or licensed minister of the Presbyterian Church of America or of a Reformed Church which is in good standing with the Presbyterian Church of America who has a call from a Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary).  The Board may elect to cease supporting any missionary at any time with or without explanation.  The yearly budget will specify the monthly support of each missionary.

2.  When there is reason to believe that a person is likely to meet our requirements to be a missionary, he may apply to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will forward his resume, letter of reference and other relevant material to the President of the Board.  The President of the Board will interview the candidate in an appropriate manner (or ask others to do so).  At this point, the Board may approve the person as a missionary candidate.  The person may then begin to raise funds, under the assumption that his primary remaining requirements for our accepting him as a missionary are 1) the actual call to teach at the Seminary (and ordination/licensure if this is a question) and 2) the raising of sufficient financial support.  If a candidate has raised partial support, he may apply for business expenses that meet our requirements and partial salary support – limited to the amount of support already pledged.

3.  Each missionary that the Corporation supports has a designated fund with the Corporation.  Contributions to the Corporation that are designated for this fund are added to it; monthly support is taken from it.  Funds can be


carried over from year to year.  The amount of monthly support from the Corporation together with other missionary compensation cannot exceed a reasonable compensation for the missionary services rendered, and the amount of monthly support together with other income must be sufficient to meet the basic needs of the missionary.  If a missionary does not have sufficient funds, the Corporation reserves the right to cease supporting him.  We judge that a missionary has sufficient funds only if there is good reason to believe that his monthly support from the Corporation together with other missionary compensation will be at least 80% of his planned compensation.  A fund can go into the red up to $2000 US.  Funds should be balanced at the time when a missionary retires or for some other reason the Corporation ceases to support him.

4.  The Corporation retains full administrative control of all funds, including contributions that are "designated" for use by a particular missionary.  We require that all missionaries complete a quarterly activity report summarizing all missionary activity conducted during the reporting period.  Missionaries must also submit a quarterly financial report accounting for the use of all support that they receive from the Corporation.  This financial report includes both funds that are reimbursed under our Accountable reimbursement policy and those that are not.  Written receipts are required for any expense of more than $75.  The missionary must indicate the vender, date, amount, location, and missionary purpose of each expense.  The Corporation approves each missionary activity as a legitimate activity that furthers the purpose of the Corporation.  The Corporation also reconciles each missionary's financial report with his activity report.  The Corporation reserves the right to audit and to verify the accuracy of all information on every missionary activity report and financial report   The Corporation provides missionaries with a form for both the quarterly activity report and quarterly financial report.  We also provide every missionary with a letter of understanding, which explains these regulations, and explicitly states that the Corporation maintains full administrative control of all funds, and retains the right to audit or otherwise verify the information in all their reports.

5.  The Corporation requires missionaries who we support to have spiritual oversight and supervision.  Our policy:

1) Missionaries who are supported by the Corporation must be under the oversight of a Presbytery or similar church body, and under the oversight of a Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary.

2) Missionaries who are supported by the Corporation are divided into teams.  Each team has at least two members, including at least one ordained member and preferably two.  The ordained members of each team are responsible for mutual oversight, and for the oversight of all non-ordained members of the team. 

3) Team meet a minimum of 12 times annually to pray and to discuss personal and ministry issues, including their spiritual lives, their family relations, and their ministry at the seminary and their churches.  The aim is to promote a healthy communion with God, a godly testimony, a healthy family life and an effective missionary ministry.

4) Missionaries supported by the Corporation meet with the Executive Director for an annual review, and the Executive Director files a written report with the Board of Directors.  The missionaries themselves also file quarterly activity and financial reports to the Corporation, and annual reports to their Presbyteries and our Board of Directors.  The annual report should include the spiritual, personal, and family situation of the missionary.

5) When there is a minor disciplinary problem within a team or with an individual missionary, the team members seek to resolve the issue privately.  Any major issue (including doctrinal issues) or any issue that the entire team can't resolve shall be reported to the Executive Director.  If the Executive Director and the entire team cannot satisfactorily resolve the issue, it shall be reported to the Board.  The Board will take any action it considers appropriate.  This may include reporting the issue to the missionary's Presbytery and / or ceasing to support that missionary.

6.  The Corporation encourages the missionaries it supports to be involved in a variety of ministries.  But as stated elsewhere we only support missionaries whose primary call is to teach at a Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary.

7.  The Corporation prefers that the Seminary where the missionary teaches issues the formal call.  The Corporation will sign as the second of a joint call if so requested.  If a Presbytery requests that the call come primarily from the Corporation, we will normally comply.

8.  If a missionary would like to propose a significant change in his ministry (and remain with Friends of CRTS), he should communicate with the Executive Director/Board concerning this and include the proposal in his annual report to the Board.  Significant changes in ministry require Board approval.  Significant changes include taking a position outside the Seminary and major changes in the position inside the Seminary.

9.  The Corporation will support a missionary who is on Sabbatical leave from a Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary or who has a continuing education agreement with such a Seminary.   The decision to grant Sabbatical leave or continuing education is made by the Seminary, not the Corporation.

10.  The Corporation requires that the missionaries it supports have adequate medical insurance.  In Taiwan, the complete coverage under Taiwan national health insurance is considered adequate.

11.  For tax purposes, the missionaries who the Corporation supports are not employees of the Corporation.  They may either be employees of a Chinese Reformed Theological Seminary, or independent contractors.