What We Believe


WCUMC Beliefs and ValuesAs United Methodists we have an obligation to bear a faithful witness to the living reality of Jesus Christ, which is at the center of our personal lives and the core of the Christian Church. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to faithfully express the witness we make in our own time.

United Methodists profess the historic Christian faith in God as revealed in Jesus Christ for our salvation and ever at work in human history through the Holy Spirit.

Living in a covenant of grace under the Lordship of Christ, we participate in the first fruits of God's coming reign and pray in hope for its full realization on earth as it is in heaven.

Our Christian Roots

The Trinity 1

  • We describe God in three persons.
  • Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God.
  • Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

God 2

  • We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it.
  • We believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.
  • We believe that God is loving. We can experience God's love and grace.

Jesus 3

  • We believe that Jesus was human. He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.
  • We believe that Jesus is divine. He is the Son of God.
  • We believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and that the risen Christ lives today.
  • We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.
  • We believe that Jesus is our Lord and that we are called to pattern our lives after his.

The Holy Spirit 4

  • We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit awakens us to God's will and empowers us to live obediently.

Human Beings 5

  • We believe that God created human beings in God's image.
  • We believe that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God.
  • We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.

The Church 6

  • We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today.
  • We believe that the mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • We believe that the church is "the communion of saints," a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.
  • We believe the church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

The Bible 7

  • We believe that the Bible is God's Word.
  • We believe that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.
  • We believe that Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament.

The Reign of God 8

  • We believe that the Kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope.
  • We believe that wherever God's will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present. It was present in Jesus' ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration and healing.
  • We believe that although the fulfillment of God's kingdom–the complete restoration of creation–is still to come.
  • We believe the church is called to be both witness to the vision of what God's kingdom will be like and a participant in helping to bring it to completion.
  • We believe that the reign of God is both personal and social. Personally, we display the kingdom of God as our hearts and minds are transformed and we become more Christ-like. Socially, God's vision for the kingdom includes the restoration and transformation of all of creation.

Uniquely Wesleyan

The United Methodist Church was founded by John Wesley. John Wesley believed that the "living core of the Christian Faith was revealed in scripture, illuminated by tradtion, vivified in personal experience and confirmed by reason." Contrasting the Methodist movement with other religious societies of his day, he said, "The Methodists alone do not insist on you holding this opinion or that opinion; but they think and let think."

Although not primarily a denomination of creeds, the United Methodist Church shares with other Christians the doctrinal heritage of the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. Besides the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren adaptations of the Articles of Religion of the Church of England, other United Methodist basic beliefs include:

A Triune God

The essential unit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit embraces the biblical witness to God's activity in creation, God's salvation in Christ, and God's continuing presence in our everyday lives.

God's Prevenient Grace

The grace of God that precedes any and all conscious impulses. We are loved regardless of who we are or what we have done.

Justification and Assurance

Also known as conversion, the process of being "justified" or restored to a right relationship with God through faith in Christ, is what Jesus described as being "reborn." We can expect to receive assurance of this forgiveness of our sins, or salvation, through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Sanctification and Perfection

New birth is only the first step in the process of sanctification of "holiness." The Holy Spirit's "sanctifying grace" draws us toward Christian perfection, which according to Wesley is a heart "habitually filled with the love of God and neighbor."

Faith and Good Works

Faith is the only response essential for salvation, but salvation evidences itself in good works. God's grace calls forth human response and discipline.

Oneness of the Church of Christ

Our ecumenical commitment as United Methodists is to share our own religious heritage with the larger Christian family. We confess a belief in "one holy, catholic (or universal) and apostolic church" which calls us to Christian unity at local, national, and world levels.

Nuture and Mission of the Church

Personal faith is nourished by the worshiping community which mobilizes connectional ties that bind us for service to the world. Personal salvation always involves Christian mission, and love of God is always linked with love of neighbor.

Two Sacraments

We believe in two Sacraments ordained by Christ, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, are symbols and pledges of the Christian's profession and of God's love toward us. They are the means of grace by which God works invisibly in us, quickening, strengthening, and confirming our faith in Him.

1 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 13
2 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 13
3 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 13-14
4 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 13-14
5 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 13-14
6 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 13-14
7 Excerpt from What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Theology (Discipleship Resources, 2002) p. 15
8 Adapted from Who Are We? Leader's Guide, pg. 28

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