Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu

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Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu
PCVanuatu logo.png
Classification Protestant
Orientation Calvinist
Theology Reformed Evangelical
Polity Presbyterian
Associations World Communion of Reformed Churches, World Council of Churches
Region Vanuatu
Origin 1948
Congregations 400 and 450 house fellowships
Members 78,000 baptised and 65,000 active members[1] about 200,000 affiliates (38% of the population)
Ministers 200

The Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu or the Presbitirin Jyos Blong Vanuatu is a stable and still the largest and growing denomination in Vanuatu.[2]


It was created by missionaries of the London Missionary Society in the mid-1800s. In 1838 Rev John William arrived on the Island of Fortuna. In Eromango Rev. William was martyred and eaten. In 1941 Apela and Samuele were placed to Fortuna. Both of them were martyred. They prepared the way of Presbyterians from Canada, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. The Presbyterian Mission Synod contributed the mission in the New Hebrides now called Vanuatu. Two prominent missionaries were John Gibson Paton from Scotland and John Geddie from Nova Scotia. Even today the Scottish Presbyterian tradition is visible in the life of the Vanuatuan church. The church developed rapidly from the south to the north. It employed indigenous pastors and teachers. The church become autonomous in 1948 as the Presbyterian Church in the New Hebrides.[3] Vanuatu become free from the British and French colonisation in 1980. Most of the members of the new government were Presbyterians, because the Presbyterian church is the only denomination that established a theological seminary.[4] In 2010 it celebrated the 64th anniversary of Independence and the 164th of the Gospel arrival in the islands.[5]


The denomination has approximately 78,000 members and 400 congregations, as well as 450 house fellowships in 6 presbyteries as of January 1, 2006.[6] It is the largest denomination in the island, represents more than 38% of the population in Vanuatu, that means over 200,000 members.[7]

Presbyterian Church in Port Vila.

The PCV (Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu) is headed by a moderator with offices in Port Vila. The PCV is particularly strong in the provinces of Tafea, Shefa, and Malampa. The Province of Sanma is mainly Presbyterian with a strong Roman Catholic minority in the Francophone areas of the province. There are some Presbyterian people, but no organised Presbyterian churches in Penama and Torba, both of which are traditionally Anglican. Vanuatu is the only country in the South Pacific with a significant Presbyterian heritage and membership.

The church runs schools. PCV ministers are trained in the Presbyterians official theological institute the Talua Ministry Training Centre on South Santo. [8] It offers diploma of theology, diploma of mission and Beachalor of Ministries Programs. Graduates from the collage become church leaders in various denominations and evangelists to isolated islands.[9]

Flagpole at the Talua Ministry Training Centre with the flags of Vanuatu (top) and the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu.


The Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu affirms the Apostles Creed and Westminster Confession of Faith.[10]

Interchurch relations[edit]

The Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu is a member of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.[11]

The Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu has partner relation with the Presbyterian Church of Australia.[12] The Australian church supports the Talua Ministry Training Centre, which provides the ministry training of the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu. [13]


External links[edit]