Methodism did not arise as a result of doctrinal dispute, but out of an emphasis on practical Christianity. "The underlying energy of the Wesleyan theological heritage stems from an emphasis upon practical divinity, the implementation of genuine Christianity in the lives of believers." 1

The founder of the Methodist movement is John Wesley. Wesley was a minister of the Church of England who struggled with his own faith until having an evangelical experience of conversion at Aldersgate. John Wesley himself described the general perception of the newly-formed Methodist group:

The one charge then advanced against them was, that they were "righteous overmuch;" that they were abundantly too scrupulous, and too strict, carrying things to great extremes: In particular, that they laid too much stress upon the Rubrics and Canons of the Church; that they insisted too much on observing the Statutes of the University; and that they took the Scriptures in too strict and literal a sense; so that if they were right, few indeed would be saved. 2

Distinctive Beliefs

Wesleyan Emphases - prevenient grace, justifying grace, sanctifying grace -

"Sanctifying grace draws us toward the gift of Christian perfection, which Wesley described as a heart 'habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor" and as "having the mind of Christ and walking as he walked.'"

Distinctive Practices


Views on Social and Ethical Issues

Women in Church -

Tobacco Abstinence -


  1. 1. UMC web site.
  2. 2. John Wesley, "A Short History of Methodism."

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