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Comparative Religions and Denominations
The Difference Between

What is the difference between Presbyterians and Methodists?


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September 10, 2007 1:56AM

The main difference is in the form of church government.

Methodists use a form of church government called Congregational which, broadly speaking, means that the congregation - those who are members of a specific local church, make the decisions regarding the local church.

Presbyterians use a Presbyterian form of church government which is representative in nature. The local congregation selects representatives who then form a "session". The session then makes the main decisions for the local church. It's very similar to the way things are done in US governing bodies.

In reality, some methodists practice a form of government called connectional congregationalism that isn't altogether different from the presbyterian form of government.

In regard to doctrine, there are several variants of both Methodist and Presbyterian denominations and within these variants there can be quite a few differences. Generally, the doctrine is very similar.