About the National Council of Churches
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been a leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The 38 NCC member communions — from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches — include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
Statement of Faith
"The National Council of Churches is a community of Christian communions, which, in response to the gospel as revealed in the Scriptures,confess Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, as Savior and Lord.
These communions covenant with one another to manifest ever more fully the unity of the Church.
Relying upon the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, the communions come together as the Council in common mission, serving in all creation to the glory of God.”
This statement is accepted by the NCC member communions (also called churches, conventions, meetings, or denominations). As Christian bodies they hold these and many other beliefs in common. Each member also has a unique heritage, including teachings and practices that differ from those of other members.
Through their covenant as the NCC, the member communions grow in understanding of each other’s traditions. They work to identify and fully claim those areas of belief they hold in common; they celebrate the diverse and unique gifts that each church brings to ecumenical life; and together they study issues that divide the churches. And they cooperate in many joint programs of education, advocacy and service that address critically important needs and witness to our common faith in Jesus Christ.
Working together as the Council, the communions carry out a wide range of ministries together. Most of these ministries are carried out under the guidance of the Council’s four Convening Tables whose participants are drawn not only from NCC members, but from a total of more than 50 denominations representing a broad spectrum of American Christianity, including Catholics, Mennonites, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, and others.
NCC Convening Tables:
- Education and Leadership Formation
- Faith and Order
- Interfaith Relations
- Joint Advocacy and Justice
Partners in Mission
The NCC’s leadership helps to link faith partners beyond its membership throughout the country and worldwide, maintaining working relationships with the Catholic Church, Evangelical and Pentecostal communities, and other Christian bodies, and has worked alongside numerous partners in ministry in local, regional, national and international settings.
In addition to ecumenical partnerships, NCC promotes harmonious relations among Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, practitioners of traditional Native American religion and many other faith groups in a society that is increasingly multireligious. The NCC has been particularly focused on building relationships between Christians and Muslims in the aftermath of the national crisis of September 2001.
The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible
The Council has an honored history in the advancement of Biblical and theological scholarship. It provides for the translation process that produced the Revised and New Revised Standard Versions of the Bible and works to increase the use of the Bible in churches and in homes around the country. It hosts an ongoing conversation about Faith and Order — doctrines and practices — among scholars from a wide variety of denominations, including many faith groups beyond the membership of the NCC itself.
NCC member communions reflect the diversity of Christianity in the United States. They also vary greatly in size and in the geographic distribution of their congregations, their style of worship, even the architecture of their buildings.
Each participating denomination brings distinctive faith traditions to the Council’s common table. Protestant and evangelical traditions are represented by churches of British, German, Scandinavian and other European origin, historic African American churches, and immigrant churches from Korea and India. Orthodox member communions have roots in Greece, Syria, Russia, the Ukraine, Egypt, India and other places where Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy have long histories.
Reflecting the rich variety of its members, the NCC believes that genuine unity demands inclusivity and a respect for diversity, and strives to embody this belief in its programs, decision-making, and staffing.