A middle judicatory is an administrative structure or organization found in religious denominations between the local congregation and the widest or highest national or international level. The term is meant to be neutral with regard to polity, though it derives from Presbyterianism where the local, regional and national bodies are themselves respectively higher courts.

Depending on the polity, the middle judicatory can have decisive authority over a local church, can offer standing for clergy members but little or no control over congregations, can offer counsel and services but no authority, or can serve as an informal vehicle for fellowship and communication.

Church of England

Church of Scotland

Episcopal Church in the United States of America

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

United Church of Canada

United Church of Christ

United Methodist Church

Unitarian Universalist Association


  • Lummis, Adair T. The Middle Judicatory as a System of Congregations Connected to the Regional Office Hartford Institute for Religious Research [1] Accessed 20 July 2006.