Reformed Churches

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Geneva Bible

The Reformed Churches are a group of Protestant Churches that originated during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. This Protestant movement was led first by Ulrich Zwingli and then by John Calvin. "Reformed" churches are said to be Calvinist in doctrine.


The Reformer, John Calvin, was French by birth; however he wrote and preached mostly in Switzerland. Here he published his "Institutes of the Christian Religion". From Geneva, Calvinism spread throughout Europe, but especially into the Netherlands and Scotland. Various Confessions were drawn up to distinguish the Reformed faith from other Protestant viewpoints. English Puritans and Scottish Presbyterians brought the Reformed faith to the United States and Australasia after the Reformation. So did the Reformed Dutch and Germans and the French Huguenots bring their faith to South Africa.


In Reformed Churches, the Bible is the sole and supreme authority in all matters of faith. The various Confessions are merely accepted explanations of Biblical doctrine.

The Confessions:

Form of Governance

Reformed Churches use the Presbyterian polity for their church government. This emphasizes the autonomy of the local church, which is governed by elders.

Different Traditions

Scottish Presbyterian, and Dutch and Swiss Reformed churches are distinguished by different confessions, but hold to the same set of beliefs.

Another tradition has developed also--"Reformed Baptist." It shares some of the same Calvinist beliefs as the general Reformed Churches, but Reformed Baptists baptize adults and not infants as other Reformed Churches do. They adhere to the London Baptist Confession.

Summary of Reformed Churches Worldwide

Here is a brief summary of the Reformed Churches in the Western world. Liberal denominations are distinguished from the more Conservative ones. "Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox" denominations include a wide spectrum, however, and may range from moderately conservative to very Orthodox.

United States and Canada

Liberal, Non-Calvinist

Presbyterian Church (USA) - around 3,600,000 members

United Church of Canada - around 2,800,000 members - Presbyterian & Congregational & Methodist

Evangelical Presbyterian Church - around 68,000 members

Korean Presbyterian Church in America - around 29,000 members

Presbyterian Church in Canada - around 225,000 members

Reformed Church in America - around 300,000 members

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Presbyterian Church in America - around 350,000 members

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church - around 40,000 members

Korean American Presbyterian Church - around 33,000 members

Orthodox Presbyterian Church - around 30,000 members

Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches - around 15,000 members, Reformed and Reformed Baptist

Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America - around 7,000 members

Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church

Free Presbyterian Church - Reformed Baptist

Presbyterian Reformed Church

Reformed Presbyterian Church - Hanover Presbytery

Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States

Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly

Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church - less than 1000 members - Four-Point Calvinist

Traditional Protestant Episcopal Church - less than 100 members - Episcopal

Christian Reformed Church - around 270,000 members

United Reformed Churches in North America - around 20,700 members

Canadian and American Reformed Churches - around 16,000 members

Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches - around 15,000 members - Reformed Baptist

Reformed Church in the United States

Orthodox Christian Reformed Church - around 1,500 members

Bible Presbyterian Church - around 3,500 members

American Presbyterian Church

Christian Presbyterian Church - Korean

Evangelical Reformed Presbyterian Church

Reformed Presbytery in North America

Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States

Netherlands Reformed Congregations - around 9,500 members - Dutch

Free Reformed Churches in North America - around 4,500 members

Heritage Reformed Congregations - around 2,000 members

Hyper Calvinist

Protestant Reformed Churches in America - around 7,000 members

The Netherlands

Liberal, non-Calvinist

Protestant Church in the Netherlands - 2 million members

Continued Reformed Churches in the Netherlands - 5,000 members

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Christian Reformed Churches of the Netherlands - 75,000 members

Reformed Congregations in the Netherlands - 31,000 members

Netherlands Reformed Churches - 19,000 members

Restored Reformed Church - 70,000 members

Old-Reformed Church in the Netherlands

Netherlands Reformed Congregations - 105,000 members

Reformed Churches of the Netherlands (Liberated) - 130,000 members

New Liberated Reformed Church - 3,000 members


Liberal, non Calvinist

Evangelical Church in Germany

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Evangelical Oldreformed Churches

Evangelical Reformed Churches of Middle Germany

Free Reformed Church - Episcopal

The UK and Ireland

Liberal, non-Calvinist

United Reformed Church

Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Church of Scotland

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales

Free Presbyterian Church - Reformed Baptist

Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland

Free Church of Scotland

Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)

Rest of Europe

Liberal, non Calvinist

United Protestant Church in Belgium

Swiss Reformed Church

Polish Reformed Church

Hungarian Reformed Church (Episcopal)

French Reformed Church

Reformed Church of Elsance-Lorraine

Reformed Church in Croatia

Evangelical Church of the Czech Brethren

Reformed Synod of Denmark

Synod of the Evangelical Reformed Church in Luthuania

Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Portugal

Reformed Church in Portugal

Reformed Church in Romania

Reformed Church in Romania - Transylvanian district

Reformed Christian Church in Serbia and Montenegro

Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia

Reformed Church in Slovenia

Spanish Evangelical Church

Reformed Church in Transcarpathia - Ukraine

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Reformed Churches of the Westminster Confession (Austria and Switzerland)

National Union of Independent Reformed Evangelical Churches of France

Reformed Presbyterian Church of Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine)

Belarussian Evangelical Reformed Church

Evangelical Brethren Church - Czech Republic and Slovakia

Reformed Congregation in Fredericia - Denmark

German Reformed Church of Copenhagen - Denmark

Reformed Church in Latvia

Christian Presbyterian Church of Portugal

Reformed Fundamental Church - Russia

Union of Evangelical Reformed Churches of Russia

Ukrainian Evangelical Reformed Church

Australia and New Zealand

Liberal, non-Calvinist

Christian Reformed Churches of Australia

Presbyterian Church of Australia

Uniting Church in Australia

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Australian Free Church

Free Presbyterian Church - Reformed Baptist

Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Evangelical Reformed Church

Presbyterian Reformed Church (Australia)

Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia

Westminster Presbyterian Church of Australia

Grace Presbyterian Church of New Zealand

Free Reformed Churches of Australia

Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia

Southern Presbyterian Church

Reformed Churches of New Zealand

South Africa

Liberal, non-Calvinist

Dutch Reformed Church (NG Kerk) - about 1 million members

Dutch Reformed (Hervormde) Church (NH Kerk) - 100,000 members

Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa

Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa - 80,000 members

Conservative-Fundamentalist and Orthodox

Afrikaans Reformation Church - just over 100 members

Afrikaans Protestant Church - 46,000 members

Free Reformed Churches in South Africa - less than 1,000 members

Reformed Churches in South Africa - 90,000 members

Church of England in South Africa - 120,000 members - Episcopal

See also

External links