Per Capita

Per Capita Information

Per Capita Apportionment for Pittsburgh Presbytery
Per Capita Discounts
Why Per Capita?
Where Does Per Capita Go?
Pay Now


Per Capita Apportionment for Pittsburgh Presbytery

2021 2022
Presbytery $23.44 $23.41
Synod $2.40 $2.40
GA $8.95 $8.98
TOTALS: $34.79 $34.79


Per Capita Discounts

The full explanation of the payment plan discounts are available HERE.

Summary of available per capita discounts:

  • 5% if paid in full by January 31
  • 3% if paid quarterly
  • 2% if paid monthly

Major credit cards will be accepted for online payment

All discounts are to be taken off of the final payment


Why Per Capita?

Like many Presbyterians, you may have wondered, “Exactly what does per capita do?”

Per capita is the amount of support, per member, that our congregation remits to our Presbytery that is then sent onto our Synod and the General Assembly.  This money is part of the glue that holds Presbyterians together.  It is the money that enables us to work with other Presbyterian churches in our Presbytery and across the country.  It is also money that allows us to work with other churches to further the mission of Jesus Christ around the world.

How important is per capita?  Here are some examples:

  • Your per capita pays for the General Assembly meeting every two years where Presbyterians gather together to worship and discern the mind of Christ for the church.
  • In many places in our world, it is difficult to “do mission” except by working ecumenically with other churches. Your per capita helps to pay for meetings of Presbyterians with people of other Christian churches, allowing us to maintain those ties for mission.
  • Your per capita pays for producing the Book of Order and The Book of Confessions, including in Spanish, Korean, and Braille.
  • Your per capita helps to fund the Presbyterian Historical Society – preserving and sharing the Presbyterian experience.
  • Your per capita funds the preparation, administration, and grading of standard ordination examinations for seminary students.
  • Your per capita pays for annual training events for presbytery executives, stated clerks, and others who help lead our work and mission.
  • Your per capita pays for the travel expenses of the Moderator and Vice Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as they make their way across the church to share with and listen to folks like you about the exciting things God is doing in our midst.

We do not believe in being lone rangers in the PC(USA).  We need each other as we work together to share the good news of Jesus Christ.  As we benefit from the gifts, skills, vision, and ministry of each other in this place, so, too, do we benefit from an even wider array of gifts and ministry of our Presbyterian brothers and sisters across the church.  Your per capita pays for the programs, training, and resources that help us work together and discern the mind of Christ for the PC(USA).

Thank you to all of you who have already paid your share.  By contributing your portion of per capita, you have freed up dollars in our regular budget for the work of our congregation in this community.


TO PAY ONLINE NOW, please fill out the following form:


Frequency of Payment
Current or Previous years
Name of Church


Where Does Per Capita Go?

Where Does Per Capita Go?

Where Does Per Capita Go?

Where Does Per Capita Go?

Why Per Capita?
Per Capita for Congregations
Per Capita for the Presbytery
Per Capita for General Assembly
Per Capita for the Synod


Why Per Capita?

Going back to our earliest days, Presbyterians in our country collected an equal contribution from each member to help the church accomplish its regional and national work. They believed this to be both equitable and biblical. Our theology leads us to believe that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will for the church through the corporate discernment of ministers and elders representing the whole church. In those early days, travel for those from distant places was far more costly than for those nearby, so the church spread the cost equally across the church, following the pattern of the apostles who “had all things in common” and “distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2:44-45) That pattern of asking all members to contribute equally to the church’s regional and national work continues to this day.


Per Capita Payment is Voluntary for Congregations

Congregations are urged to remit their per capita assessment in full to presbytery. For 2020, that is $34.79 per member*. Of that, $8.95 goes to General Assembly, $2.40 goes to Synod, and $23.44 remains with the Presbytery. This contribution, however, is voluntary, and failure to pay will not diminish the services presbytery provides to a congregation. It will simply mean that other congregations pay for those services.

*Discounts are available for Pittsburgh Presbytery churches that pay their per capita at the beginning of the year, at the beginning of each quarter, or at the beginning of each month. Contact Roy Burford for details.


Per Capita Payment is Mandatory for the Presbytery

Each Presbytery is required by the Book of Order to pay per capita to General Assembly and Synod for all members, whether or not their congregation remits it. When Presbytery pays General Assembly and Synod per capita for congregations that don’t pay:

  • General Assembly and Synod still receive per capita for all members of all congregations
  • congregations that DO pay their per capita subsidize the congregations that do not pay
  • presbytery’s operational income is reduced by the amount congregations do not pay
  • presbytery has less funds to pay staff and do its work locally
    • congregational non-payment of per capita has no effect on Synod or GA per capita receipts

Presbytery’s share of per capita pays for:

  • presbytery meeting costs
  • the work of presbytery committees and commissions
  • assuring congregational and clergy compliance with the Constitution, including disciplinary action and administrative review as necessary
  • preparing candidates for ministry
  • assuring and guiding the orderly searches for calls and dismissals of pastors
  • guiding the establishment, departure, and dissolution of congregations
  • engaging the broader church in ministry by participating in the life and work of higher councils and ecumenical/interfaith agencies
  • maintaining records for ministers, congregations, and the presbytery
  • legal and administrative costs for presbytery operations
  • approximately one-third of the personnel costs of the presbytery staff who make this work possible

Giving to per capita, like giving to the congregation, should be done freely and unconditionally. It should not be ruled by the calculus, “What do we get for what we give?” Nevertheless, it is true that each congregation – whether or not it pays per capita – gains much from per capita funds whenever it has a pastoral transition, or any other situation that requires the time, presence, and counsel of presbytery staff.

Just as with all offerings to the Lord’s work, per capita giving should be offered “…not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)


General Assembly Per Capita

The general purpose of GA Per Capita is to make it possible for the whole church to do its corporate work. This includes:

  • paying for meetings of General Assembly
  • providing resources to help presbyteries and synods maintain operations
  • engaging in ecumenical relations
  • preparing and interpreting the Book of Order and Book of Confessions
  • making it possible for ministers to be trained, examined, and connected to congregations seeking pastors
  • judicial work referred by presbyteries and synods
  • collecting, reporting, and keeping current and historical church records
  • funding the work of the offices of the Stated Clerk, GA Moderators, and Executive of the Presbyterian Mission Agency
  • sharing in business operations expenses with the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Per Capita does NOT fund the mission and advocacy work of the national Mission Agency, which includes the “hot button” concerns of the PCUSA. That work is funded by separate voluntary mission contributions and investment income.


Synod Per Capita

Per capita funding to the Synod of the Trinity supports:

  • all synod governance work, including the Synod Assembly and its committees
  • the synod Governing Commission which advises the work of the Synod Assembly
  • judicial work referred from presbyteries
  • administrative expenses and staffing to support this work
Discount Plan for Per Capita Payments

Discount Plan for Per Capita Payments

Discount Plan for Per Capita Payments

The Presbytery Approved Discount Plan for Per Capita Payments

5% if paid in full by January 31
3% if paid quarterly
2% if paid monthly
Major Credit Cards will be accepted (online payments)
All discounts are to be taken off of the final payment


Payment Process

5% Annual Payment Discount

To receive the single pay annual discount, the per capita assessment amount must be paid in full, less the 5% discount, and received at the Presbytery finance office no later than January 31.

All payments received will be subject to verification by the Financial Secretary. The per capita due for your church will be adjusted to reflect the discount, payment and balance owed on all per capita reports.

3% Quarterly Payment Discount

To receive the quarterly payment discount, the per capita assessment amount must be paid in equal quarterly payments and received into the Presbytery finance office no later than the last business day of the first month of each quarter. The schedule that must be followed is as follows:

1st Quarter Payment – must be received into the finance office no later than January 31
2nd Quarter Payment – must be received into the finance office no later than April 30
3rd Quarter Payment – must be received into the finance office no later than July 31
4th Quarter Payment – must be received into the finance office no later than October 31

As an example – if the annual assessment is $10,000, your quarterly payment should be $2,500 per quarter beginning in January. If you have made all 4 payments January‐October, then the 3% quarterly discount may be applied to your October payment. In this example, the discount of 3% on $10,000 equals $300, so your payment would be $2,200 for October.

The quarterly payment schedule must be followed to receive the discount. The full discount may be applied to the final payment that is due in October.

2% Monthly Payment Discount

To receive the monthly payment discount, the full per capita assessment amount must be paid in  payments and received into the Presbytery finance office no later than the last business day of each month beginning in January.

The monthly payment schedule must be followed. The full discount may be applied to the final payment that is due in December.

As an example – if the annual assessment is $12,000, your monthly payment should be $1,000 per month beginning in January. If you have made all 11 payments January‐November, then the 2% annual discount may be applied to your December payment. In this example, the discount of 2% on $12,000 equals $240, so your payment would be $760 for December.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Presbytery’s finance office.