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G-2.0301 from the Constitution of the PC(USA) states this:
“As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided person with particular gits to share in the discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people.
Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith,
having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit.
Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matthew 20:25), but because they are chosen by thecongregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life.
Ruling elders, together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships
When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithful as members for the session.”
When elected as commissioners to higher councils, ruling elders participate and vote with the same authority as ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and they are eligible for any office.