Congregationalism

(2030 words)
  • Alan Argent (University of London)

Congregationalism is the term used for that form of church government which asserts the autonomy of each local church. Congregationalists assert that it is the Holy Spirit who gathers God's people together and who prompts them to enter a covenant relationship with each other and with God and, therefore, to walk together in church order. Historically it has been one of the three main types of ecclesiastical polity – alongside Episcopacy and Presbyterianism. In Congregationalism all members of the local church make decisions on its behalf together, without reference to outside bodies; consequently ultimate authority for the church's work and witness, including the issuing of a call to its ministry, resides in the church meeting when the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Argent, Alan. "Congregationalism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1789, accessed 19 April 2014.]


Related Groups

  1. Religious Reform, Protestants, Dissenters