What is the Church of the Nazarene?
The Church of the Nazarene is a Protestant Christian church in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. Organized in 1908, the Church is now home to more than 2 million members worshiping in over 26,000 local congregations in over 160 world areas.
The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations.
Nazarenes support 14 liberal arts institutions in Africa, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Korea, and the United States, as well as 5 graduate seminaries, 31 undergraduate Bible/theological colleges, 2 nurses training colleges, and 1 education college worldwide.
Nazarenes are passionate about making a difference in the world by taking the good news of Jesus Christ to people everywhere. Today there are 702 missionaries and volunteers serving around the world. Each week, Nazarenes worship in more than 212 languages or tribal languages, with literature produced in 90 of these. The church operates 33 medical clinics and hospitals worldwide. This missionary enterprise is made possible by the contributions of the global Nazarene family. Nazarenes also engage in starting new churches and congregations by praying, giving, and supporting worldwide volunteers and contracted missionaries.
For more information, see: • Discovering Missions
The Church of the Nazarene is the largest denomination in the classical Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. The doctrine that distinguishes the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesleyan denominations from most other Christian denominations is that of entire sanctification. Nazarenes believe that God calls Christians to a life of holy living that is marked by an act of God, cleansing the heart from original sin and filling the individual with love for God and humankind. This experience is marked by entire consecration of the believer to do God’s will and is followed by a life of seeking to serve God through service to others. Like salvation, entire sanctification is an act of God’s grace, not of works. Our pursuant service to God is an act of love whereby we show our appreciation for the grace that has been extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For more information, see:
• Here We Stand
• A Century of Holiness Theology
• Discovering the Old Testament
• Discovering the Bible
• Discovering the New Testament
• Discovering our Christian Faith
• Reading the Bible in Wesleyan Ways
• Philosophy of Religion
• Holiness in the Gospels
• With Cords of Love
• Dismantling the Myths
• The Story of God
• Grace, Faith & Holiness
• A Wesleyan-Holiness Theology
The government of the Church of the Nazarene is a combination of episcopacy and congregationalism. Six elected representatives serve on the Board of General Superintendents. This board is charged with the responsibility of administering the worldwide work of the Church of the Nazarene. The Board of General Superintendents also interprets the denomination’s book of polity, the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene. The Manual is also available online translated into numerous languages.
The General Assembly of the church serves as the supreme doctrine-formulating, lawmaking, and elective authority of the Church of the Nazarene, subject to the provisions of the church constitution. Comprised of elected representatives from all of the denomination’s regular districts globally, the General Assembly meets once every four years.
The General Assembly elects the members of the Board of General Superintendents and considers legislative proposals from the church’s 439 districts. Topics under consideration may range from the method of calling a pastor to bioethics.
The General Assembly also elects representatives from around the world to the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene. The General Board carries out the corporate business of the denomination.
A Tradition of Service
Nazarenes are a compassionate people. We believe in serving others. This is expressed locally through the services of members to their communities. Contributions from Nazarenes make possible the administration of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM). Following the example of Jesus, NCM seeks to educate, clothe, shelter, feed, heal, and ultimately empower those who suffer under oppression, injustice, violence, poverty, hunger, and disease. Through 183 Compassionate Ministry Centers, 101 Child Development Centers, about 100 projects, and many volunteer efforts, Nazarenes are instrumental in assisting people in every part of the globe who have been affected by war, famine, hurricane, flood, and other natural and manmade disasters.
The worldwide network of Nazarene churches makes it possible for the denomination to serve as a conduit of assistance to hurting nations. Nazarenes provide money for food, medical supplies, clothing, and other items to persons in a number of countries where there are pressing needs. In addition, the denomination’s missionary infrastructure is often used by World Relief and similar agencies when they need assistance in getting supplies to people in remote or troubled areas.
The Church of the Nazarene reaches out to persons around the globe through the power of technology. Each week last year, World Mission Broadcast aired 140 radio broadcasts in
72 countries and 36 languages.
The following resources about the Church of the Nazarene are available for purchase from the Nazarene Publishing House. Thousands of other resources are available through the NPH website, www.nph.com, or toll-free within the United States at 800-877-0700.
• What is the Church of the Nazarene?
• Manual of the Church of the Nazarene (for purchase)
• Manual of the Church of the Nazarene (online version)
• Articles of Faith: What Nazarenes Believe and Why
• What is a Nazarene? Understanding our Place in the Religious Community