PRESBYTERY: An ecclesiastical term having two distinct uses. (1) The part of the church, behind the altar, which contained seats for the bishops and presbyters (priests), divided from the rest by rails, so that none but clergy might enter it. (2) An ecclesiastical court of Presbyterian churches, next in rank above the session, composed of all the ministers, and one elder from each church within a certain radius, and having jurisdiction over the ministers composing it, over the candidates for the ministry and licentiates, and over the churches within its bounds. See POLITY, ECCLESIASTICAL; and PRESBYTERIANS, X.