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What Presbyterians Believe                  

This ongoing series of articles on "What Presbyterians Believe" explores the Biblical and theological foundations of our faith.

The authors have given permission for these articles to be reproduced. We hope this series will be useful for adult church school classes and discussion groups, new member classes and individual enrichment.

What do Presbyterians believe about ... ?

How to Speak Presbyterian                   

It has been estimated that 58 percent of the members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) did not grow up in the denomination. For readers in that category, here is a short rundown of the lingo you are likely to hear in a Presbyterian church that you may not have heard in another church.

Continue reading

What do Presbyterians believe about ... ?

The Ascension
The Atonement
Infant Baptism (2006 version)
Infant Baptism (1985 version)
(Don't) Believe
The Bible
Biblical Justice
Church and State
Connectional Church
Ecclesia Reformata ...

End of life issues
The End of the World
Faith and Patriotism


How Presbyterians Make Decisions

The Holy Spirit
Interfaith relations
Life After Death
Lord of the Conscience
Predestination II
Priesthood of Believers
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Trinity
Trinity (Reclaiming the)



  • I'm looking to break away from the episcopal church to a more evangelical denomination. I'm torn between Presbyterian, church of Christ, and baptist. Is there any reason the Presbyterian Church would be more appealing? What is their basic doctrine? Thanks by Porter on 01/14/2014 at 5:33 p.m.

  • I want to know more about presbyterian churches. I am from Dembi Dollo, Ethiopia. by Temesgen Alemayehu on 12/05/2013 at 4:21 a.m.

  • What does the PCUSA believe about 'other ways' for salvation other than Jesus the Christ? by Ann on 10/01/2013 at 1:05 p.m.

  • Julie, the PC(USA) is deeply committed to providing loving, pastoral care to all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and their families. While some congregations may do a better job of offering this welcome than others, there can be no question on this matter: we are called to extend love and welcome to all of God's children. That is a commitment of Presbyterians whatever their beliefs about homosexuality, and there are many LGBTQ-affirming and welcoming congregations. Presbyterians, however, are divided on the question of whether homosexuality is a natural blessing from God or a sin (the latter being the historic position of the church). As I am sure you can imagine, there is a great deal of passionate debate on this subject. As of 2011, the PC(USA) presbyteries voted to allow ordination to ministry for lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons if a presbytery (a regional council) discerned God's calling in that person's life. Presbyteries are not required to ordain or not to ordain; it is up to their collective discernment. Currently, PC(USA) clergy are allowed to bless, but not officiate or perform, same-sex marriages. Overall, this is a place of deep woundedness in the church, and we are together seeking collective healing and understanding. Your prayers are most appreciated. by Patrick Heery PC(USA) Staff on 09/11/2013 at 8:24 a.m.

  • What are the beliefs of this church with gays/lesbians and their children? by Julie on 09/10/2013 at 9:26 p.m.

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