Glossary of Protestantism


This glossary of Protestantism provides definitions of terms related to Protestantism, with links to full articles where available.

A Protestant denomination centered around the belief that the sacrament of baptism should only be administered to adult members after a personal profession of belief in Jesus Christ. Baptism in this faith is usually done by full immersion. Emphasis is placed on biblical scripture and preaching. The Baptist denomination is primarily derived from early 17th-century England and Wales where it quickly spread although there are some links with the Anabaptists of the 16th century.
A tradition within Protestant Christianity emphasizing active evangelism, personal conversion and faith experiences, and Scripture as the sole basis for theology and practice.
Refers to the Protestant body derived from the Reformation of Martin Luther (1483-1546). Lutheran doctrine recognizes three sacraments (baptism, Eucharist, and penance) and centers around the concepts of justification by faith alone and the preisthood of all believers. Like most other Protestant denominations, Lutheranism emphasizes the importance of scripture rather than church authority.
A Protestant denomination emphasizing a close personal relationship with God, the importance of the Holy Spirit, and a strong belief in the historical doctrines of Christianity. A simple and egalitarian form of worship in which ministers and laymen cooperate is advocated, as is work done on behalf of the poor and unfortunate. Methodism was started as an evangelical movement within the Church of England by John Wesley in 1739 and it became a separate denomination in 1795.
One of the main Protestant groups that arose out of the 16th-century Reformation. Generally speaking, modern Presbyterian churches trace their origins to the Calvinist churches of the British Isles, the European counterparts of which came to be known by the more inclusive name of Reformed. The term presbyterian also denotes a collegiate type of church government led by pastors and lay leaders called elders or presbyters.
A Christian sect that arose in the mid-17th century in England and the American colonies, advocating direct inward apprehension of God, emphasizing the immediacy of Christ's teaching and guidance, and rejecting outward rites and an ordained ministry. Quakers believe in a spiritual baptism and a spiritual communion. The group has a long tradition of opposing war and actively working for peace.
sola fide
(Latin, "faith alone"). Martin Luther's doctrine that faith is all that is necessary for salvation. It remains a core doctrine for many Protestants today.

Article Info

Title Glossary of Protestantism
Last UpdatedFebruary 3, 2021
MLA Citation “Glossary of Protestantism.” 3 Feb. 2021. Web. Accessed 23 Jan. 2022. <>