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Denominations - Protestant

Short profiles of selected Christian denominations in the U.S.

About the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Date Founded:  Movement founded in England in the mid-1600s. 

Membership/Number of Clergy:  87,000/NA as of 2007

Headquarters:  Quaker congregations are affiliated in larger regional bodies called yearly meetings. There are 34 yearly meetings in the United States and Canada. There are three large, umbrella organizations in the US that many, but not all meetings affiliate with: Friends General Conference at 1216 Arch St, #2B, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Friends United Meeting in Richmond, IN;  and Evangelical Friends Church International

Schools & Seminaries:  Barclay College, Bryn Mawr College, Earlham College, Earlham School of Religion, Friends University, George Fox UniversityGuilford College, Haverford College, Malone University, Swarthmore College, Whittier College, William Penn University, Wilmington College

Publications: Friends Journal (Friends General Conference), Quaker Life Magazine (Friends United Meeting), Friends Voice (Evangelical Friends Meeting, North America)

Websites:  Friends General Conference (FGC) , Friends United Meeting  (FUM), and Evangelical Friends Church International (EFCI)

Social Media: FCG: Facebook, Twitter  FUM:

Core Beliefs: We believe that every person is loved and guided by God. Broadly speaking, we affirm that "there is that of God in everyone." Everyone is known by God and can know God in a direct relationship. We are called to attend to this relationship and to be guided by it.


Short History:  In the United States in the 19th century, Friends divided into several groups, each emphasizing different aspects of Quaker faith and practice. The major groups that resulted are Friends General Conference which is mostly unprogrammed (silent meetings) and liberal in outlook, Friends United Meeting, which includes both unprogrammed and pastoral (programmed) Friends meetings and is broadly Christian, and Evangelical Friends International, which is mostly pastoral and evangelical. There are also independent Yearly Meetings (both liberal and fundamentalist) and a few Yearly Meetings in the conservative tradition.

Traditional “unprogrammed” Friends do not have paid pastors, but the majority of Friends meetings have adopted the practice of calling pastors to either fulltime or part-time service.


Local Churches:  The one meeting in Louisville is very near campus. Louisville Friends Meeting, 3050 Bon Air Ave., Louisville, KY 40205-3181, is affiliated with the Friends General Meeting and meets weekly on Sunday at 10:30.  This is an unprogrammed meeting that will be mostly silent.  You can use the Quaker Finder to locate other Meetings.

Symbols of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Evangelical Friends Church symbol

Friends General Conference symbol

Friends United Meeting symbol