Christian "umbrella" organizations in the U.S.
Christianity remains seriously fragmented in the North America and
elsewhere. There are over 1,000 Christian organizations in the United
States alone. The religion is sometimes viewed as being divided into three
wings: conservative, mainline and liberal. Some view Christianity as being composed of two or more quite different religions,
each sharing the same name and each being based on a different interpretation
of the Bible.
This division is reflected in the multiplicity of Christian
associations at the national level. The main ones are:
||The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) is
the largest ecumenical organization of Christians in the U.S. It includes
mainline and liberal Protestant, Orthodox, and black Protestant denominations. It is
commonly referred to as the NCC or National Council of Churches.
Its member communications/denominations "include more than 50
million adherents in nearly 140,000 congregations nationwide." 1
Association of Evangelicals (NAE) is the largest conservative
Protestant group in the U.S. It " is a voluntary association of
individuals, denominations, churches, schools and organizations comprised
of approximately 43,000 congregations nationwide from 50 member
denominations and individual congregations from an additional 27
denominations, as well as several hundred independent churches. The
membership of the association includes 250 parachurch ministries and
educational institutions." 2 It was founded in
1942. Their motto is "cooperation without compromise."
One important group that had been affiliated with the NAE since 1944
was the National Religious Broadcasters. This is an
organization of conservative Christian broadcasters. They voted
unanimously on 2001-FEB-9 to sever their connection with the NAE,
after the NAE decided to stop vetoing memberships of denominations
which held dual memberships with the NAE and NCC. 6
||The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), and
its committees, are composed entirely of Roman Catholic bishops. Their
prime task is to prepare proposals for the consideration of the church
||The United States Catholic Conference (USCC) is the Roman
Catholic's decision-making organization in the U.S. It is also
composed of Roman Catholic Bishops. However, members of its committees
include "lay people, clergy and religious, as well as bishops."
USCC committees recommend policy to the body of bishops. 3
||The Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA)
provides a "framework for fellowship, dialogue, and
cooperation between the various Pentecostal and charismatic denominations, churches, and ministries in North
America..." The Pentecostal movement started in Kansas in
1901 with "the experience known as the baptism in the Holy
Spirit evidenced by tongues and other gifts
of the Spirit." 4
||The North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC)
has six member denominations: Associate Reformed Presbyterian
Church, Korean American Presbyterian Church, Orthodox Presbyterian
Church, Presbyterian Church in America, Reformed Church in the United
States, and Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America.
Prior to 1998-NOV, the Christian Reformed Church was also a
member. They were suspended by NAPARC because they had voted in 1995 to
accept women as ministers, elders, and evangelists. The vote was 6
to 1. 5
||Christian Churches Together is a new cooperative effort
involving faith groups from five families within Christianity:
Evangelical/Pentecostal, Historic Protestant, Orthodox, Racial/Ethnic,
and Roman Catholic." In 2003, 45 church leaders representing a wide
range of Christian religious groups produced a proposal which "...calls
for a fellowship that is committed 'to grow closer together in Christ'
in order to strengthen its 'Christian witness in the world'." This
proposal will be "placed before the top decision-making bodies of
many denominations (or communions as some bodies are called) and other
Christian organizations, as their regularly scheduled assemblies take
place." 7 More details.
- The NCC has a website at: http://www.ncccusa.org.
- The NAE has a website at: http://www.nae.net/
- The joint NCCB and USCC website is at: http://www.nccbuscc.org/
- Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) has a
website at: http://www.iphc.org/pccna/
- NAPARC apparently does not have a web page. The decision whether to create
one is in the hands of a three person committee.
- "Religious broadcasters cut ties with Evangelical group,"
Baptist Press, at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/01a/20010216b.shtml
- "Plans for 'Christian Churches Together in the U.S.A.' Move from
Vision Toward Reality," National Council of Churches, 2003-JAN-29, at: http://www.usaccb.org/
Copyright © 2000 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on
Originally written: 2000-MAY-30
Latest update: 2007-OCT-15
Author: B.A. Robinson