A nominated or elected lay official of any of various Christian Churches, especially of a Presbyterian Church.
- ‘In addition to ministers, many Baptist churches had ruling elders, assistants, exhorters, deacons, deaconesses, elderesses, and evangelists.’
- ‘He's been going through the records of his late wife, Florence, who was the church's clerk of session for 30 years and a ruling elder, in search of information and old photos or a memorial booklet.’
- ‘He is ruling elder at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA.’
- ‘Recently a Presbyterian Church in America ruling elder posted a blog stating his stance on an earlier discussion regarding the Pope's comments on Sunday sports.’