The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
The Board of Pensions is the agency legally responsible for administering the pension and benefits programs of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Board of Pensions is governed by an independent Board of Directors nominated by the General Assembly Nominating Committee and elected by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
There are two representatives from the Board of Pensions assigned to the Synod of the Trinity region. They are:
Rev. Dr. Douglas Portz
Phone: (215) 587-7455
Regions: Synod of the Trinity (except Presbytery of Philadelphia) and Synod of the Covenant (except Presbytery of Cincinnati)
Doug joined the Board of Pensions in July 2015. Previously, he served in a pastoral and administrative role with the Pittsburgh Presbytery for more than eight years and built a vast knowledge of congregations in that region.
Before joining the staff of Pittsburgh Presbytery, Doug served as pastor to four congregations in three presbyteries over the course of 23 years. He has served multiple assignments with presbytery-level committees and commissions.
Doug holds a Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s from Grove City College in Pennsylvania. His region comprises Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Michigan.
Rev. Dr. Carrie Mitchell
Phone: (215) 587-7239
Regions: Presbytery of Philadelphia and the Synods of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Rev. Dr. Carrie Mitchell joined the Board of Pensions in 2019 as a Church Consultant. Prior to joining the Board, she was associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford in New York.
Before she responded to her call to ministry, Carrie worked both in the government and private sectors. She first served the Federal Government’s International Trade Administration as a telecommunications industry specialist, then expanded to international markets for GTE Wireless Telecommunications.
Carrie earned a bachelor’s degree as a dual French and economics major from Susquehanna University, a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.
Presbyteries in Carrie’s region are located in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The Presbyterian Foundation
The Presbyterian Foundation raises, stewards and distributes funds for mission. It works to strengthen congregations and related mission and ministry efforts by developing gifts and managing funds on its behalf. It works with them to build communities of generosity among its members and constituents. And it provides all Presbyterians an avenue to realize their philanthropic goals through a variety of giving and investment options. In all its work, it remains focused on the Reformed values that have guided its stewardship and investment for more than 200 years.
There are two Ministry Relations Officers from the Presbyterian Foundation assigned to the Synod of the Trinity region. They are:
Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley
Region: Synod of the Trinity (excluding the Presbyteries of Donegal and Philadelphia) and the Presbyteries of Atlantic Korean, Baltimore and New Castle (territory map here)
Ellie works with congregations to create a culture of generosity, offers seminars and workshops, develops gifts and fundraising plans for ministries, and provides coaching to finance, stewardship and endowment committees. “Building on relationships and resourcing churches to help them increase funding for their ministry are my top priorities,” said Ellie. “I want to help others realize the vast amount of resources available through the Foundation and work in collaboration with other agencies of the PC (USA).”
Ellie comes to the Foundation after serving for three and a half years as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Warren, PA. Previously, she was Director of the Summer Youth Institute and Associate Director of Admissions at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is co-moderator of the Presbytery of Lake Erie’s Administrative Committee and a member of the Trustees and has served on the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission.
Ellie received a BS in biology at Muskingum College and a Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She resides in Pittsburgh with husband, Eric, and two young daughters.
Rev. Dr. Rose Niles is a Ministry Relations Officer serving the Pennsylvania Presbyteries of Philadelphia and Donegal as well as the Northeast Region, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. She works with congregations to create a culture of generosity, offers seminars and workshops, develops gifts and fundraising plans for ministries, and provides coaching to finance, stewardship and endowment committees.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Rose served as Development Officer at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She also served with the Committee of Theological Education for almost seven years as Associate for Theological Education and Seminary Relations. She served as pastor to congregations in the New York area and in Louisville. A life-long Presbyterian reared in the Bronx, Rose served as the Vice Moderator of the Synod of the Northeast at a young age. Later, as a young pastor, she served as the Moderator of the Synod. During her time at New York Theological Seminary she taught in multiple programs, supervised DMin projects, and taught in their master’s program in Sing-Sing maximum security prison.
A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Rose has degrees from Harvard University and New York Theological Seminary. Her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter Selah live in Los Angeles.
Presbyterian Mission Agency
The Presbyterian Mission Agency is faithfully working to inspire, equip and connect all Presbyterians to do Christ’s mission, bringing together congregations, worshiping communities, mid councils, mission networks and other parts of the church ecosystem as they nurture and shape disciples and serve Christ in the world.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency is the ministry and mission agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Four ministry areas carry out our work: Compassion, Peace and Justice; Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries; Theology, Formation & Evangelism; and World Mission. We work together to inspire, equip and connect all Presbyterians for the church’s work.
Region: Synods of the Trinity, Northeast
Lynne, who came to the PMA staff in 2013, has spent most of her professional life working with non-profit organizations. Her previous roles include service as mid-Atlantic director of corporate relations for the American Heart Association and as major gifts director for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“As a lifelong Presbyterian, I am humbled and grateful to serve, work and give back to the church that has had a major impact on my life and in the lives of so many in my family,” Lynne says.
Lynne earned a BS degree in marketing from the University of Maryland, and she received an executive certificate in nonprofit leadership from Duke University. A fourth generation Presbyterian, Lynne is an elder and a member of the AveNue Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.
Lynne is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is a certified fundraising executive, a designation conferred by CFRE International.
Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program
The Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program, Inc. (PILP) is a nonprofit corporation of the PCUSA created to provide low-cost loans to congregations, governing bodies and related entities of the PCUSA. It provides loans for the construction or purchase of buildings, renovations and even refinancing of existing debt.
Region: Synods of the Trinity, Mid-Atlantic plus New Jersey, South Carolina
A development specialist, Catherine works directly with churches and middle governing bodies in her area, providing them with loan and investment information. Before coming to the Investment & Loan Program, she worked in the funds development field for seven years. In addition to her experience as a fundraiser, she has also worked in the areas of public affairs, government relations and marketing communications. Catherine lives in western North Carolina and is a member of Tryon Presbyterian Church. She has worked with PILP since 2000.