Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

What do Disciples believe?

Beliefs and practices usually associated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) include:

Freedom of belief

Disciples are called together around one essential faith: belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Diversity of opinion

Beyond this one essential belief, each person is free to determine individual beliefs guided by the Bible, Holy Spirit, study and prayer.

Open Communion

The Lord’s Supper, or Communion, is celebrated in weekly worship. All believers are welcome at the Lord’s table.

Baptism by immersion

Baptism is a public act which symbolizes a new life of trust in God and discipleship in Christ. Although Disciples generally practice baptism by immersion, we honor other baptism traditions as well.

The ministry of all believers

All Christians are called and gifted to serve in particular ways. Both ordained and lay persons lead worship, direct service opportunities, and nurture spiritual growth.

Importance of church unity

All Christians should cooperate in ministry wherever possible, affirming each other as sisters and brothers in Christ.

Disciples reflect frontier roots

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was founded in the early 1800s in the United States. Seeking to move beyond denominational disagreements, the founders envisioned only one Christian Church, modeled on the New Testament. The church grew rapidly across the American frontier, in part because it shared many values of the early settles.

Today, our nearly 4,000 congregations still share some of those characteristics.

  • Each congregation is a self-governing unit and calls its own pastor.
  • Worship services may be formal or informal, and include lay men and women as leaders.
  • Open discussion of issues is encouraged. A variety of opinions is welcome.
  • Disciples congregations include a broad ethnic and racial membership.

The chalice symbolizes the central place of communion in worship for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The X-shaped cross of the disciple Andrew is a reminder of the ministry of each person and the importance of evangelism.

For more information about the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), check out