What is the Evangelical Reformed Church in America?
The Evangelical Reformed Church has its roots in historical Christianity as it emerged in the Protestant Reformation, with the teaching of John Calvin.
Are you a denomination?
Not in the traditional sense of the word. All ministers and churches who come into our fold do so voluntarily and all are subject to meet our standards However we put more emphasis on local church autonomy. Many of the responsibilities traditionally belonging to a denominational headquarters reside with the local church, such as the training of church leaders, the planting of churches, and the sending of missionaries. We are built on relationships and encourages churches to network together for strategic mission.
Where and when were you founded?
We were founded in 2006 in Minneapolis, MN.
What does the accountability structure look like?
We have a the Classis (National Leadership Council) provides oversight to the organizational aspect of the ministry. It also serves as a court of last resort for serious issues that may come up in a congregation or among its leaders, such as financial impropriety, moral failure, or theological issues.
What about minister accountability?
Minister accountability is a relationship that a minister voluntarily submits to for the purpose of spiritual health and protection. Each minister is held accountable to the Classis.
What do you believe?
We have a statement of faith we also hold to the six forms of unity Heidelberg Catechism, Westminster Larger Catechism, Westminster Shorter Catechism, Belgic Confession, Westminster Confession and Canons of Dordt.
Where do you stand on doctrine differences?
As mentioned all churches and ministers must hold to our doctrines however if needed members may contact the Classis for advice in any matter.
How important is theological unity?
Theological unity on the essentials of the faith is important. What also brings us together are mission, values, and authentic relationships. Our members seek to implement long-standing practice of essentials, unity and, freedom; in all things!
How do you ensure theological integrity in local congregations?
One of our strengths is our accountability structure, to which ministers willingly submit to, to form network of like minded members creates a strong potential for the maintenance of theological integrity. The strongest basis for maintaining orthodoxy is relationships and common beliefs.
What is your form of government?
- General Synod (The local and denominational governing leaders)
- Classis (The denominational governing body)
- Presbytery (A regional governing body)
- Consistory or Session (The local church or ministry governing leaders)
- See our form of government page
Where do ministers receive their seminary training?
Ministers are not required to hold a degree, each candidate is thoroughly vetted by Classis to affirm his call and fitness for ministry. Through a series of exams and interviews prior to ordination. If a candidate is in need of further training we have resources available to assist them.
Why don’t you require your ministers to be seminary trained?
If a person is called to serve the church but unable to attend seminary do to location, financial difficulties, time etc. This should not preclude them from serving. If a person is truly called by God then he shall prepare him for his call. This is not to say that we don’t believe pastors should be educated. We expect all our ministers to meet high standards and to always be educating themselves through educational resources. There is no short cuts to a good education and pastors should always be growing in their faith and understanding.
Is your ordination recognized by other church bodies?
This depends on the church some do some don’t contact the body you wish to be recognized by before pursuing ordination.
Are congregations or ministers encouraged to leave their denominations?
No. This is a question each congregation/minister needs to answer for themselves. Some churches/ministers have done so, while others have chosen to remain with their denomination. A congregation/minister can be a part of a denomination while also belonging to the ERCA provided their current denomination allows dual membership.
How does a pastor or church join?
- Be aware that joining is a commitment to a relationship with our leaders, pastors and churches. A commitment to embracing and integrating our mission, identity, and non-negotiable core values into the life of leaders and churches.
- If you are ready contact us with your intent to join and what brought you to this point
Can a pastor join even if his congregation does not?
Yes, a pastor can join us even though the congregation may not be ready to join yet.
My church wants to fellowship with you but maintain our independence can we join?
Yes, all churches are autonomous and voluntary come into our fold and may end there association with us at anytime.
Is there a fee to join?
No. We cannot accept any alms form our members.
How can I find a Church located near my home?