What We Believe
As part of the Christian Church (Disciples
of Christ), we share a 200-year-old tradition with more than
3,000 congregations in Canada and the United States. We
believe that the church is built by people worshipping
together, not by creeds or hierarchies.
New members do not have to recite any creed. We
have always believed that Christian fellowship should not be
dependent upon creeds or mandatory forms of church
government. Unlike most Christian groups, the Disciples
don’t have a list of distinctive beliefs that separate them
from others. We are distinguished by some common practices
Below is a list of these practices. Other Christian groups
carry out some of these practices, but the Disciples are
unique in combining all ten of them.
1. We celebrate Communion every week. The Lord’s Table
is the center of our worship each time we worship. We
practice an open table, which means anyone who is a follower
of Jesus is welcomed at Communion. At the table, Christ is
remembered as we offer to one another the bread and cup of
2. We are a people of the Book. Each individual is
responsible for the study and interpretation of scripture.
For us, the study of scripture is a lifetime commitment, and
as a result, we recognize that minds change and faith is
always making new discoveries. We do not expect everyone’s
interpretation of the Bible or the Christian life to be
3. We practice believer’s baptism by immersion, but no
one who has been baptized as a Christian has to be baptized
again. We recognize and affirm the baptisms are many and
varied. We do not insist that our practice is the only one
that is valid. Therefore, we welcome Christians from other
traditions who have received a different form of baptism.
One of our slogans is “United in Faith, Diverse in
Practice.” Persons from other Christian traditions are
welcome without suspicion or condition.
4. We are congregational, yet voluntarily connected.
First Christian has the authority over its life and
ministries. We choose to share our resources with other
congregations connected to us because we know that the
mission of the church is not just local.
5. We include women as leaders in the church. We believe
that God provides spiritual gifts to all, and we do not
restrict any office or role in the life of the church by
6. We emphasize lay leadership. Church members are
encouraged to exercise their gifts freely without limits.
Lay persons can preach, baptize, officiate at the Lord’s
Table, and offer pastoral care.
7. We emphasize an educated clergy. We believe that
quality of leadership must be undergirded with quality
education. We establish educational and professional
standards for clergy, and we hold clergy to ethical
accountability through denominational oversight.
8. We practice Christian unity as often as we can.
Disciples pray and strive for the unity of the church of
9. We practice the “whosoever will” of Jesus regarding
the public witness of the church. Cultural concerns of
race, gender, income, political parties, education, or
social standing have no place in the church.
10. We believe that judgment belongs to God