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Tim , I just rewrote Presbyterian Church to reflect the world-wideness of it all - similar things need to be done with other denominations; glad you've started this ball rolling (as a cradle Presbyterian, their divisions are near and dear to my heart). --MichaelTinkler October 162001

Glad I inspired you. I only stubbed the ones I needed for President of the United States of America. I added links to the others in Stubs. <>< tbc

Role of Deacons[edit]

My understanding was that the role of the diaconate is service and ministry to the poor (within and without the church) and the session (of Elders) oversees the financial aspects. Although many churches have a special offerning every so often for a "deacons' fund" which helps the needy.

SableSynthesis 21:04, 5 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Is "Diaconate" even a word? Deacons have parish's, which are groups of people they are assigned to look after in the church. As well as looking after the downtrodden in the larger community the church is a part of. The "deacons' fund" can be given to at any time(our church has clearly marked paper envelopes for just such a purpose), not just during special offerings to it. Kairos 14:08, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

It should be spelled Deaconate (at least in the PCA) and in my church (Also part of the PCA, Souixlands Presbytery) Usually we collect donations for the Deacon's Fund at the first of every month. Alec92 (talk) 00:00, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Varieties of Presbyterians[edit]

This section needs to expand beyond discussions about churches in North America. -- Kaihsu 14:52, 2004 May 28 (UTC)

I agree, there is clearly an American bias in this article. : Nesbit 19:51, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone else think that a list of famous American Presbyterians adds little to this article - and skews it too muck in a US direction? Could this be moved to a stand-alone article - or should we create a 'list of famous Presbyterians - including only the most significant US ones? I suppose the problem from a Scottish perspective is that half the famous Scots have historically been Presbyterians. --Doc (?) 12:36, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I have edited the article of the history of Presbyterianism, so as to make it more accurate I hope, where the Presbyterian Church of England merged with the Congregational Church in 1972 to form the United Reform Church, and this nearly saw the disappearance of Presbyterianism in England, leaving only the International Presbyerian Church planted in 1969 by Francis Scaeffer of L'Abri Fellowship. (Mark Harvey, Clerk of Presbytery and Synod, International Presbyterian Church, 23rd April 2006)

I don't think this edit is justified - the Presbyterian Church of England didn't disappear, as the United Reformed Church has elements of both Presbyterian and Congregational/Independent schemes of Church Governance, and there was never much theological difference between the two denominations in practice. With 70,000 members the URC remains a significantly larger body than the 'International Presbyterian Church'. Sjoh0050 16:26, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree with the american bias in the article. That's why I attempted a edit of Korea, the country I know about. The presbyterian church is now probably bigger in Korea and other parts of Asia then probably England, the origins of Presbyterianism, and only second to the US, where it is declining. For example, I know Presbyterian churches in Korea with more than 70,000 members let alone a organisation. So I have attempted again to re-write the Korea part of the section, focusing on the major sections of the history and the size of the denominations. Corean79 (talk) 10:26, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

What is the purpose of an Elder?[edit]

Hi. I know someone who is an Elder in her local Presbyterian Church. What is the purpose of this Leder status, and how does one become an elder?

In a nutshell, in a North Amer presbyterian context, an elder is someone who has been selected (often through election) to be on the church's session. A session is basically the decision making body of the church. They make all the decisions about the running of the church. This includes the business aspect of the church such as ensuring bills are being paid etc and policy decisions such as those revolving their education program. They can also send petitions up to higher levels of church government to request a change in greater church policy or clarification. Elders will often take on a ministering role and be assigned a certain segment of the church. They are supposed to be availible to the people they are assigned to answer questions and to a certain extent mentor. In practice many elders ensure those they are responsible for get theri communion cards for the week communion happens and do little other councilling unless it is solicited. If a church member, your elder might be a good person to go talk to if your having issues in life, or have a question or concern about the church and if they can't help you themselves they will often link you with the proper resource. You can also look it up in Wikipedia or I'm sure your friend would be glad to answer your questions. Granite T. Rock 04:01, July 16, 2005 (UTC)

News Item[edit]

Pgh Seminary KHM03 20:37, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

I would like to know why the Presbyterian church is so hard on the State of Israel. Is there a difference on the State of Israel and Jews between Presbyterians and other Christian denominations? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:59, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

List of famous american presbyterians[edit]

This section is very interesting - and could expand. But it doesn't immediately tell you anything about presbyterianism, and it does make this article american-centric. Unless anyone objects, I'm going to split it off to a distinct article of its own. It can then be linked from 'see also' here. --Doc (?) 01:28, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Make it so! KHM03 14:04, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

'Tis done: now see List of notable American Presbyterians --Doc (?) 14:12, 29 July 2005 (UTC)


There is certainly more to Presbyterianism than just the system of church government; would a discussion on basic Presbyterian theology be appropriate here? The only difficulty I can see is that there are a number of differences between Presbyterian churches, so really such a discussion might be better suited in an article on Calvinism. Peyna 22:56:28, 2005-08-29 (UTC)

It would be good to include an explaination of the Presbyterian perpsective on grace (sancftifying/actual, irresistable...?)and Justification (universal, sola fide, faith and works...?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kingfrito 5005 (talkcontribs) 00:21, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Probably best looked at under Reformed theology --Doc (?) 23:28, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

That's fine, but there is no reference to it all on this page. Also, Reformed theology redirects to Calvinism Peyna 23:32:27, 2005-08-29 (UTC)

Yes, just noticed that. I'd always thought of Presbyterianism as the form of government shared by (most) Reformed Churches - thus although the system is underpinned by theology, it is not itself a theology. But I'm no systematician, so I could well be wrong. --Doc (?) 23:48, 29 August 2005 (UTC)

Isn't Reformed theology essentially confessional Calvinism anyway? I'm not Presbyterian, and I'm certainly no Calvinist, but aren't they synonomous? KHM03 12:40, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, classically it is that laid down in the various reformed confessions, but it is also how that is developed, explored, modified and applied in the various confessional churches. --Doc (?) 13:19, 31 August 2005 (UTC)
I don't see anything inherent in Calvinism that would require a presbyterian polity. Indeed, there are many churches that are strongly Calvinist in there theology, congregationalist polity. Likewise, there are some churches from outside the reformed tradition (I'm thinking specifically of certain Lutheran denominiatins) that have essentially a presbyterian polity, though they themselves do not use the term. Essentially, it is just a historical accident that "Presbyterian" and "Calvinist" usually go together. There is no inherent theological reason it should be so. (talk) 00:35, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
As a practicing Presbyterian I wouldn't consider myself a Calvanist.Kairos 01:37, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
I would agree that there are plently of Presbyterian, especially in the "liberal" PCUSA, that can't be described as Calvinist, but there can be no dispute that the Presbyterian church derived from the Calvinist tradition, and all Presbyterian churches, including the PCUSA, still ascribe to confessional standards which are strongly Calvinist in character. BTW I am a lifelong Presbyterian and PCUSA member.

New Doctrine Section[edit]

I haven't reviewed much of this new section, but the last paragraph could be cleaned up a little bit. The proper names of the two movements are "Confessing Church Movement" and "Covenant Network of Presbyterians". Also, the way it is currently worded it is unclear that both of them are movements within the PCUSA, but the PCUSA as a whole does not endorse either of them (which the current article seems to suggest this is part of the PCUSA at large). They are essentially groups of people within the PCUSA seeking to change something about the PCUSA. IPeyna 02:27:38, 2005-08-31 (UTC)

I've expanded sightly upon the concept of a confessional church. This is an important concept, which probably deserves its own article. D.G. Hart's book is an interesting description of the concept, although there may be more widely known references. Hedrick (talk) 00:52, 14 June 2009 (UTC)


I'm assuming the adjective "evangelical" in the introduction is referring to the mainland European meaning of the term, but I think it should be explained or changed to a more descriptive term, since to most people reading this article evangelical will have the Conservative Christian association with that term, which is misleading. Peyna 17:12, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I think maybe since the link goes to a disambig page, and none of the options are particularly satisfying, that maybe the word should go to avoid confusing. pschemp | talk 20:40, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
even more so since its almost a synomym of protestant...I'm gonna remove it. pschemp | talk 20:42, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, in the context the term is used in this article it is basically synonymous with protestant, and therefore redundant and confusing. Peyna 21:46, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

English Presbyterian[edit]

I reached this article because I wanted to check what I had created a link to. In doing so, I found there was little discussion of the relationship between the 17th to 18th century Presbyterian church that became Unitarian and the 19th century one founded by Scots. I hope my alteration is correct; if not, I would suggest that some one expands and corrects it or provides a linked article dealing with the subject. I note that there is something on it under Congregationalists and Unitarians, but I think the matter might usefully be explored here. Peterkingiron 17:20, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Authority of Scripture[edit]

I have changed 'infallibility' of the Bible to 'authority' as I think that is a broader reflection of the beliefs of Presbyterians. 'Infallibility' seems to get too close to a Fundamentalist view of Scripture, and it certainly isn't the case that all Presbyterians are Fundamentalist. I would agree that Presbyterians put value on the 'authority' of the Bible, but the critical frames they use to interpret Scripture for today's world are more diverse than simply a fundamentalist viewpoint. Sjoh0050 15:38, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

The sentence currently reads "Theologically, Presbyterianism has ... a high regard for the authority of Scripture..."
Most Presbyterian Churches have adopted the Westminster Confession of Faith as their subordinate standard of doctrine. This document clearly states that the Bible is infallible. Chapter 1 of that same document:
"V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. ...our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts" [1]
However, unless they are ordained, Presbyterians are not required to agree with the Westminster Confession (in any Presbyterian churches I know, anyway). So the theology of the church can be different from the theology of its members.
So, should this article reflect the specific confessional position of the church or the broader beliefs of its members? Or both? At the moment the sentence in question does not differentiate between the two. Blarneytherinosaur 01:41, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

My view of that quotation from the Westminster confession is that it is more subtle than simply saying 'Scripture is infallible' - rather, it says that the truths contained within scripture can be discerned through the holy spirit.

For comparison, the United Reformed Church says this in its 'Basis of Union':

"The highest authority for what we believe and do is God’s Word in the Bible, alive for his people today through the help of the Spirit."

Sjoh0050 15:47, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm not here to start a slanging match, but I disagree. I believe that that quote does say the Bible is infallible, and that the Holy Spirit testifies to this. Here's my paraphrase of the quote: "We are fully persuaded of the infallibility and divine authority of the Bible, because the Holy Spirit, who is in our hearts, testifies and assures us, and this agrees with the Word of God that He has put within us." or “We know the Bible is true, because the Holy Spirit says so.” I think that this is the place in the confession where the claim of Biblical infallibility is made.
To state instead that the Bible is authoritative is similar, but not quite the same. If a person believes that the Bible is the ultimate authority in their lives, but it is fallible, they have to decide which parts are true and which parts aren’t. Then they only have to listen to those parts that are true. This in turn undermines whether the whole Bible is authoritative, or whether only the parts they, or someone else, deems “accurate” are authoritative.
I do not dispute that the Bible is authoritative, but I believe that the Westminster Standards also teach that it is infallible. Blarneytherinosaur 00:29, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

I'm sure you aren't trying to start a slanging match - and neither am I. I am not disputing that some Presbyterians share your view - but I do think that the Presbyterian family includes a wide ranges of approaches to Scripture, which share a high regard for the authority of Scripture, but take varying routes to its interpretation. For myself, I think it is critically important to look at:

  • the historical/cultural context in which the author was writing the text;
  • the biblical context in which the text has been placed; and
  • the current context that we, the readers, find ourselves in.

Sometimes I think this will lead us away from the answers that an approach based on 'infallibility' might give us. Consider, for example, the Levitical rules on mixed fibres, shellfish, animals with cloven hooves. Or, for example, the differing genealogies in Matthew and Luke - they can't both be historically accurate, so why have the authors composed them as they are? Sjoh0050 16:00, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

The PCUSA's statement regarding the Bible [2] seems to reflect pretty much what you've pointed out here. They recognize the numerous changes that have occured through time to the Bible and makes no claim that is is infallible. (Although it does say it is the Word of God; however, that does not mean that the people who wrote it and assembled it were perfect.) Peyna 16:21, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

By looking at the historical, cultural, and biblical contexts of the examples Sjoh0050 mentions, it is easy to see how the Levitical laws do not apply to us today, and how the differences between the two genealogies of Jesus may be reconciled.

The Law

The Levitical law against the use of mixed fibres goes along with the requirement to wear tassels (Deuteronomy 22:11-12). Both were marks of difference between the Israelites and the nations around them, and reminders that they should remain faithful to God.

Jesus declared all food clean in Acts 10:9-16. This also showed that the Gospel was for everyone, not just the Jews, (Acts 10:17-48 and Acts 11).

No one can be saved by obeying the law (Romans 3:20), and Jesus fulfilled the obligations of the Law by His sinless life, propitiatory death and resurrection (Matthew 5:17 and Romans 4:23-25). Therefore belief in Biblical infallibility cannot be grounds for legalism.

The Genealogies

The genealogy in Matthew 1 was written by a Jew for Jewish people, and Jews always traced ancestry through the male line. Matthews' main concern was proving Jesus' legal descent from King David through His legal father, Joseph. Descent from David is a criterion for any claim to be the Messiah (2 Samuel 7:12, Psalm 89:3-4, Psalm 132:10-12). (Matthew’s genealogy does omit some kings, including Ahaziah, Joash and Amaziah, but the Hebrew usage of the word sometimes translated “begat” allows for lineal descent, from (great)grandfather to (great)grandson, not necessarily direct descent from father to son.)

The Gospel of Luke was written for a Greek (Luke 1:1-4). In the genealogy in Luke 3:21-38, Luke is concerned with recording the human descent of Jesus through Mary. Luke notes that it "was supposed" that Jesus was the son of Joseph (Luke 3:23, also John 6:42), but he was not. Therefore Luke traces Jesus' ancestry through His nearest male blood relative, Eli, or Heli, the father of Mary.

Biblical infallibility

With regards to Peyna’s comments, the only reference that I could find in the PCUSA statement about change in the Bible is this, “Although the language of the King James Bible reflected the everyday speech of England in the 17th century, changes in speech patterns and the meaning of certain words have made it more difficult to understand than more modern translations.” It refers specifically to the differences between the English used in the early translations (specifically the KJV) and the translations of today. Maybe I missed something.

What the Bible says has not changed. The way to prove this is to compare scripture to scripture, and manuscript to manuscript to ensure you get the right message. There are over 5,000 complete manuscripts of the New Testament, and 8,000 partial manuscripts or fragments. This compares with the typical ancient document that has up to 10 manuscripts. A classic example is Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico (The Conquest of Gaul) for which there are only 4 known manuscripts. (The only exception to this rule is Homer’s Iliad which has 600 odd copies).

To believe in Biblical infallibility does not require you to believe that the people who wrote down the Bible were perfect, only that they were directed what to write by the Holy Spirit, who is perfect.

How about we simply agree that “the Presbyterian family includes a wide ranges of approaches to Scripture, which share a high regard for the authority of Scripture, but take varying routes to its interpretation” ? Blarneytherinosaur 04:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I think that's an accurate description, but then we might risk running into a situation where we have to say that above every single theological aspect of every denomination. (Some P's believe A, some believe B, some believe C, etc.) That could result in a very poor-reading article. My personal experience with the authority of scripture is a little peculiar since I have been Presbyterian since birth, but attended a Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) middle school where I had to take their confirmation classes. There, I was taught that the Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write, and that the Bible is the Word of God and therefore perfect; although there was also the recognition that each author's own "voice" wrote the words. Back at my PCUSA church and confirmation, we didn't go into much depth about the Bible being perfect and flawless, and even had some detailed theological discussions on the origins of the texts and how they came to be and how they were written by man and not God. There was a definite difference in emphasis between the two.
I imagine the average PCUSA member would have a much different opinion regarding the infallibility of the Bible as compared to the average PCA member. In fact, if you read some of the stuff on the PCA website, you'll notice how they are very careful to point out how they are "faithful to the scripture," which, at least to me, seems to be a jab at the PCUSA, and I'm pretty sure is one of the main reasons for the split. If perhaps we could whittle it down to a few dominate POVs on the subject that are held among the various Presbyterian groups, we can probably avoid having to point out that there are myriad different POVs within the denomination. I think most readers are intelligent to realize that within every group of people that subscribe to a certain theology, those individuals are going to have their own beliefs and opinions, etc. that may or may not jive with the rest of the group.
So anyway, my main concern is that we try to avoid pointing out repeatedly that there are limitless POVs on the subject. That is almost a given with every subject. If we can pick out some more prominent POVs and present those, that should be sufficient. Peyna 02:56, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Here's something I lifted from another site, that helps demonstrate my point, supra [3].
"Beliefs of mainline Christians:
Mainline denominations, like the Presbyterian Church (USA), often take an intermediate position on inerrancy; in fact, many try to avoid the term where possible. This has caused internal rifts within the Presbyterian movement. In 1973, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) split off from the Presbyterian Church (USA), partly over the matter of inerrancy. The PCA left because the PCUSA "...had shifted from its historic beliefs to a theological liberalism that denied core biblical doctrines, such as the inerrancy and authority of Scripture."
During 2001-JUN, the inerrancy of the Bible was at the core of a dispute at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The representatives were debating whether to remove a church rule that banned gays and lesbians from ordination. According to ReligionToday: "In debating the issue, officials from the PC (USA) stated: 'We acknowledge the role of scriptural authority in the Presbyterian Church, but Presbyterians generally do not believe in biblical inerrancy. Presbyterians do not insist that every detail of chronology or sequence or pre-scientific description in scripture be true in literal form. Our confessions do teach biblical infallibility. Infallibility affirms the entire truthfulness of scripture without depending on every exact detail.' "
Peyna 03:01, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

a new origin of the name? (humor)[edit]

i'm not saying it true or not but ive noticed "Presbyterian" is also an anagram of "Best In Prayer." any comments? fwed66 18:34, 12 July 2006 (GMT)

And "Presbyterians" spells BRITNEY SPEARS!!! Bacl-presby 22:33, 12 July 2006 (UTC) ...and Pepsi-Cola spells.....episcopal Bacl-presby 14:03, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

and I see both of these were mentioned in the recent issue of The Wittenburg minds do think alike?? Bacl-presby 22:53, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Does the list of colleges belong here?[edit]

The list of seminaries and theological colleges does not seem to have attracted a maintainer. It is very American-biased, and does not tell you anything about the link except the name of the college. It is not alphabetical. Could it be a Category instead of part of this article? --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 13:43, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I think that is a good suggestion, we could have a [[Category:Presbyterian universities and colleges]] (to keep in line with similar categories) and then just link to that. Peyna 14:00, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Created the category: Category:Presbyterian universities and colleges, I'll start adding pages to it. Peyna 14:05, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I made it down to Greenville, someone else can continue. Once we are done, we can remove the list and leave a link to the category. Peyna 14:14, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Great work! I have added a few seminaries (and former seminaries). I did not yet add places like Knox College, Illinois, The Scots College or Presbyterian Ladies' College, Perth.
I have proposed renaming it from [[Category:Presbyterian universities and colleges]] to [[Category:Presbyterian seminaries and theological colleges]]. Those interested in presbyterianism might like to discuss a possible rename at Category talk:Presbyterian universities and colleges. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 08:20, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Neither The Scots College nor Presbyterian Ladies' College, Perth are theological colleges. They are schools. Blarneytherinosaur 08:28, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Exactly. Similarly, Knox College, Illinois is not a theological college, it is a liberal arts college. That is my motivation for proposing renaming the category.

By the way, Category:Presbyterian schools has Category:Presbyterian universities and colleges as a sub-category. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I propose deleting this section (even although I am a graduate of one of these seminaries!). It is too American-biased- it could go in an equlvalent American article. Would we include Scottish or other colleges or universities which have Presbyerian roots? Eg Trinity College, Glasgow or New College, Edinburgh which the Church of Scotland's ministers, but which are now part of a secular universities? Slackbuie 19:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

US Takeover and Readability[edit]

US Takeover[edit]

I love the stuff on Amerrican Presbyterianism, and the great graphic. But Presbyterianism is an international phenomena. I've already removed one lot of US specific material to List of notable American Presbyterians, could I now suggest that this stuff is moved to something like Presbyterianism in North America. I've been doing a lot of work elsewhere on Scots Presbyterianism and its splits and denominations, and if the US graphic and material stays here, then there would be no reason for the Scottish material to be here too. But I think 'nation specific' stuff would be best in nation specific articles. --Doc (?) 08:00, 31 August 2005 (UTC)


I come rather late to this discussion (see also, and But I observe that reducing all of the United States history to one link (, as I presume to have taken place, has the effect of placing the emphasis on the remaining element that get fuller treatment on the page.

What is more, when you Google “presbyterian reunification”, is the only Wikipedia link to come up among the first 30 Google hits. comes up as number 32 on the Google list. And ironically, although that link focuses on the fundamentalist-modernist controversy within the Presbyterian church, the way that it is entitled would seem to embrace that controversy as it plays out within all denominations of the faith, which is not the way that the article has been written. By contrast, the “Cumberland Presbyterian Church” article, which would seem to be but a footnote to the whole, achieves a Google ranking of number two.

I think the links within each Wikipedia article have to be solid. And that in part means that links to vast amounts of material that is central to the topic should receive links that convey that degree of emphasis. Otherwise the articles become too tortured to skim.

That raises another discussion in its own right. The simplest emphasis would be achieved by putting broad links in a bold-font face. Or a different color. Or you could echo the most important links in the sidebar with a trailing index of subtopics.

But readers need to be able to zero in at a glance on the information they seek, otherwise the purpose of the Wikipedia is seriously undercut.

C-U RPCV 21:13, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

US Takeover Please explain more, C-U RPCV. I notice a section called Presbyterianism#Varieties of Presbyterianism in the United States. Did you consider writing some material about reunification there? By the way, presbyterianism in Scotland has been reuniting (and perhaps dividing again?) since the 19th century. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Readability I have not seen bold face or coloured links in Wikipedia (unless they are bolded for another style reason.) However, I have seen a couple of techniques that might achieve what you want. Consider using these:
1. Put an italicized banner immediately under the section heading, like these examples:
Main article: Presbyterian polity
See also Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy
2. Add a box of links (similar to the Calvinism box) called a navigation box - this can be a vertical or horizontal box.
(If less important links seem distracting, consider deleting them; though in my personal opinion, this article doesn't need that).
There are places in Wikipedia where you can ask for help if you have trouble with either technique. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 09:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary[edit]

An admin 'speedily deleted' this article when I pointed out that it appeared to be copied from the seminary website. If anyone is interested in creating a new article with free content, just click on the red link. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 10:18, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Fixed! Thanks to User:W.marsh for taking up this challenge, depsite someone again attempting to copy material from the LPTS site without their permission. --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 13:23, 20 October 2006 (UTC)


What is the presbyterian doctring on predestiation and election?--Counsel 03:21, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

The groups that subscribe to the Westminster Confession (i.e. the conservative ones) believe in it and consider it important. More liberal groups take a more variable position. I only know the PCUSA personally. There is little emphasis on the doctrine, though seminaries talk about it. I think you'd find personal beliefs both of clergy and members varies, with more belief in predestination than in non-Reformed churches, but not a uniform belief in it. Hedrick (talk) 20:40, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Presbyterians are Reformed with historical roots in Britain[edit]

Any article on Presbyterians should make it clear that "Presbyterian" is really the English word for the Reformed churches, and that the Presbyterian churches are part of the Reformed churches. This article gives you no hint that there's a very close historical connection between the Presbyterians and the present-day Reformed churches. Atterlep 20:01, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Declining Numbers[edit]

Don't we need a section on the declining number and increasing ages of the church. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 03:13, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

No. This article is not just about the Presbyterian Church (USA), but about all denominations holding Presbyterian doctrine and governance across the world. Blarneytherinosaur talk 07:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Someone had added this, and although I'm not sure it needs to be here (you can always look up the entry for the PC(USA)) I have moved to the appropriate section as I re-arranged things today Slackbuie 16:21, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Is EVERY Presbyterian group in decline??? In North America, the larger groups, but if we look worldwide, it ain't necessarily so! And I'm glad to see this assumption has not been added to the article! Bacl-presby 17:46, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Probably not. There is nothing here about Presbyterians in Latin America, Africa or Asia, where things are very different. Someone needs to add these sections... Slackbuie 22:36, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Michael Jordan[edit]

I have no knowledge in this field, but is the Michael_Jordan mentioned in the influences section of the side-box meant to link to the basketball player?? Jddriessen 19:00, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Huh?? Where? However, basketball itself was invented by James Naismith, a Presbyterian Minister, born and raised in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, educated at The Presbyterian College, Montreal Bacl-presby 19:38, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Someone has already reverted the vandalism. Michael Jordan is irrelevant -- TimNelson 12:01, 23 March 2007 (UTC)
  • NEVER, say that (MJ is irrelevant) to a basketball fan Bacl-presby 23:36, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Worldwide Presbyterianism[edit]

With comments on Asia (South Korea gets few words), and so little on Africa, I think we need to see more!! Bacl-presby 00:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Presbyterian Church During American Revolution[edit]

Isn't it true that the American Presbyterian Church was very pro-revolution during the Revolutionary War? From what I've been told American Presbyterian ministers advocated revolution and were well represented among the ranks of the Chaplains in the nascent Continental Army. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:57, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Split Scotland and England[edit]

I'm surprised that they are in the same section. In England, Presbyterians are "Dissenters", in Scotland they are usually part of the State Church. Quite different situation. And what's Wales doing in this section when it is part of neither country?! --MacRusgail 20:46, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I've split them. StAnselm 21:14, 13 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, this makes far more sense. Although both are in the UK, this is one of the clear differentiating factors. The history of Presbyterianism in Scotland (and its highly complicated family tree) - well, that's enoough for another long article. --MacRusgail 12:23, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Frozen chosen[edit]

Actually, this whole paragraph needs to go:

In the US, Presbyterians sometimes also lightheartedly refer to themselves as the "frozen chosen"...

There is no citation, given, I'm dubious as to whether an appropriate one can be produced. StAnselm 03:34, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Location of WTS[edit]

This page says "Western Theological Seminary" is located in Tacoma, WA. It links to the Western Theological Seminary page which says it's located in Holland, MI. This seems like a rather large discrepancy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:20, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

List of colleges and seminaries[edit]

In the "See also" section, there is now a very long list of colleges. Long, that is, but probably not exhaustive. Do we need this list? It is much too long for a "See also" section. If folks think we need it, how about creating it as a separate list with its own page? What are your views? Sunray (talk) 16:37, 23 March 2008 (UTC)


I think the level of openness of the church should be mentioned. How do they feel about LGBTs? Abortions? Birth control? Other religions? Atheism? Siúnrá (talk) 19:21, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Sure, but Presbyterianism is a movement or tradition, not a church. I don't know what could be said, that is encyclopedic and could encompass the Church of North India, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Church of Scotland, and the rest! If you can offer some material, WP:SOFIXIT --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 19:46, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
What churches in particular are you speaking of Siúnrá? Myself being a Presbyterian (and the son of a Deacon) I know the basics of how Presbyterian Government works, and the PCA at the last General Assembly included a statement in it's principles that the PCA would not allow the practice of gay marriages if the government passed a law allowing gay's the ability to marry and Abortions and Athiesm are self-explanatory. So I don't believe we should list the "openness" of The Church. Alec92 (talk) 15:32, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
PCA is anti-lgbt.[1] The PCUSA however is much more liberal, advocating lgbt rights, specifically marriage.[2] There is no unified stance. PCA being the Presbyterian Church of America should not be confused with Presbyterianism.

Proposed work group[edit]

There is currently discussion regarding the creation of a work group specifically to deal with articles dealing with the Presbyterian Churches, among others, here. Any parties interested in working in such a group are welcome to indicate their interest there. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 16:40, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Size of Presbyterian church[edit]

This article doesn't give me any idea of whether Presbyterianism is a "large" or "influential" church. Is this more like 1% of Protestants or 40%? In particular, I would find it helpful if there were membership numbers in the "Regions/North America" section, perhaps also expressed as a percentage of North American Christians. -- Creidieki 02:22, 26 April 2009 (UTC)


Presbyterians usually do not share a kiss before marriage.

Now, if I were your average Joe-Shmo, would I really care if Presbyterians don't share kisses before marriage? it seems like somebody just put that up there because they disagreed with it. so unless people really want somebody to know that...

Presbyterians usually do not share a kiss before marriage.

Then I am going to remove it from the page, because it has nothing to do with explaining the theology/practice of Presbyterianism. Alec92 (talk) 00:06, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Non-encyclopedic. Blarneytherinosaur gabby? 01:16, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Architecture Examples[edit]

Are these really the most prominent examples of Presbyterian architecture? How come almost all of them in the list are American anyway? Surely there be citations as to them being prominent examples? Munci (talk) 03:16, 29 October 2009 (UTC)

Dutch Reformed Church?[edit]

What about the Netherlands? If I'm not mistaken the early reformed church in Holland etc was organized along Presbyterian lines, with its synodal-classical structure. At least among the various reformed churches the Dutch Church was (is?) was more Presbyterian than Congregational. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:53, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Ordinarily, a 'Reformed' church is the continental European equivalent of a 'Presbyterian' church. Thus the two words are synonymous when used in this sense, and a Presbyterian church is simply a Reformed church of English-speaking or British derivation. Traditionally, both Presbyterian and continental Reformed churches are Calvinistic in theology and presbyterian in government, accepting the 'Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, [as] the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him' (Westminster Shorter Catechism). Ben Dawid (talk) 10:59, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
It is my understanding that, from an American perspective at least, the term "Presbyterian" refers to those protestant churches which trace their heritage from the Church of Scotland. It is true that the Dutch Reformed churches also have a Calivinist theology, and "presbyterian" polity, but typically they are not identified as "Presbyterian." Incidently, I use the term "Presbyterian" (capital P) to denote the denomination, and "presbyterian" (lower case p) to denote the polity. (talk) 00:35, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


Presbytarian is a denomination of Christianity. Christianity is the religion so I think it should be read as "Presbytarianism is a denomination of many Christian Churches adhering to the Calvinist..." Note: This edit was posted by at 20:17, 30 March 2010 and moved here by Arxiloxos (talk) 21:09, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

At first blush, I think that may have a good point here. The current opening of the lede -- "Presbyterianism is the religion of of many different Christian churches . . . " -- does sound a bit odd. Would appreciate input from other editors before making this change, however. Is there authority for the current phrasing, or for the definition of Presbyterianism as a "religion" rather than a "denomination" or "variation" or some other more appropriate word? --Arxiloxos (talk) 21:22, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

I can't see any reason to object to going back to describing as a denomination rather than a religion. That bit was added with the following edit: [4]. Munci (talk) 22:52, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for finding the source of the change. I think it might be best to revert to the wording in that prior version ("Presbyterianism refers to . . . ") because there's more than one "Presbyterian" denomination discussed here. --Arxiloxos (talk) 16:07, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:48, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Rewrite of South Korea[edit]

I have re-written the part on South Korea as a temp article due to the copyright information I have received. I have removed the quotes from the infringed site, and rather quoted from another wiki article. Corean79 (talk) 10:26, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Which wikipedia articles? Wikipedia articles are not public domain, although they are liberally licensed for reuse. Content taken from them must be properly attributed; see Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. I can see that some of the content seems to be copied from Presbyterian Church of Korea, but not all of it. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:43, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I see. The temporary page included the content that was already here as well as the content from Presbyterian Church of Korea. If you believe that the contents of Presbyterian Church of Korea would benefit this article and the contributors of this page do not disagree, it can be included, but please be sure to copy the source so that references carry over and please make sure to provide credit to the original, as set out at Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:55, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Presbyterianism was not born out of the sect of the Johnny Coheners (Calvinism)[edit]

Please. Start waking up folks. While we still have the internet.

Anyway, the article needs to highlight that Presbyterianism is MISTAKENLY said to be born out of Calvinism and that, in fact not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Presbyterianism[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Presbyterianism's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "THE EPISCOPALIANS":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 22:29, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ "The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and Homosexuality". Religious  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  2. ^ "PCUSA could be largest to OK 'gay marriage'". Baptist Press. Retrieved 3 April 2011.