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Denominations - Protestant

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

Presbyterian Church in America

Presbyterian/Reformed, Mainline Protestant

Date Founded:  PCA was constituted in 1973 as the National Presbyterian Church, then changed their name in 1974 to Presbyterian Church in America.

Members 341,482 Number of Clergy:  760 as of 2010

Headquarters:  1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Schools & SeminariesCovenant College and Covenant Seminary

PublicationsbyFaith Magazine  Since 1975 the PCA has jointly owned Great Commission Publications (GCP) with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.


Core Beliefs:

1. God alone is Lord of the conscience and has left it free from any doctrines or commandments of men (a) which are in any respect contrary to the Word of God, or (b) which, in regard to matters of faith and worship, are not governed by the Word of God. Therefore, the rights of private judgment in all matters that respect religion are universal and inalienable. No religious constitution should be supported by the civil power further than may be necessary for protection and security equal and common to all others.

2. In perfect consistency with the above principle, every Christian Church, or union or association of particular churches, is entitled to declare the terms of admission into its communion and the qualifications of its ministers and members, as well as the whole system of its internal government which Christ has appointed. In the exercise of this right it may, notwithstanding, err in making the terms of communion either too lax or too narrow; yet even in this case, it does not infringe upon the liberty or the rights of others, but only makes an improper use of its own.

3. Our blessed Saviour, for the edification of the visible Church, which is His body, has appointed officers not only to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments, but also to exercise discipline for the preservation both of truth and duty. It is incumbent upon these officers and upon the whole Church in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous, observing in all cases the rules contained in the Word of God.

4. Godliness is founded on truth. A test of truth is its power to promote holiness according to our Saviour’s rule, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20). No opinion can be more pernicious or more absurd than that which brings truth and falsehood upon the same level.

On the contrary, there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty. Otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth or to embrace it.

5. While, under the conviction of the above principle, it is necessary to make effective provision that all who are admitted as teachers be sound in the faith, there are truths and forms with respect to which men of good character and principles may differ. In all these it is the duty both of private Christians and societies to exercise mutual forbearance toward each other.<

6. Though the character, qualifications and authority of church officers are laid down in the Holy Scriptures, as well as the proper method of officer investiture, the power to elect persons to the exercise of authority in any particular society resides in that society.

7. All church power, whether exercised by the body in general, or by repre-sentation, is only ministerial and declarative since the Holy Scriptures are the only rule of faith and practice. No church judicatory may make laws to bind the conscience. All church courts may err through human frailty, yet it rests upon them to uphold the laws of Scripture though this obligation be lodged with fallible men.

8. Since ecclesiastical discipline must be purely moral or spiritual in its object, and not attended with any civil effects, it can derive no force whatever, but from its own justice, the approbation of an impartial public, and the countenance and blessing of the great Head of the Church.

To read position papers on individual issues go to

Short History:  260 conservative congregations with 41,000 members split off from the Presbyterian Church in the United States over doctrinal issues including the position of women in the church.  PCA churches felt the PCUS was growing too liberal. In 1982, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, joined the PCA. The Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, had been formed in 1965 by a merger of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, General Synod.  The PCA and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church explored merger in 1987, but the OPC determined that the PCA was too lax in its interpretation of the Westminster Standards.  At this point a number of OPC churches aligned with the PCA. For more information, go to

Local Churches: There are two PCA churches in Louisville:  

Community Presbyterian Church, 13902 Factory Lane Louisville, KY 40245

Redeemer Presbyterian Church 1310 E Burnett St., Louisville, KY 40217

Church Locator: