Presbyterian History | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Presbyterian History

These resources offer different ways to learn about Presbyterianism in American and world history.

Presbyterianism in a wide sense is the system of church government by representative assemblies called presbyteries, in opposition to government by bishops (episcopal system), or by congregations (congregationalism). Learn more about the origins and history of Presbyterianism.

Presbyterianism in American has a long and fascinating history. Check out our interactive timeline.

Want to know when the Old School-New School schism occured? Or when the PCUS and UPCUSA reunited to form the PC(USA)? Look no further than our Family Tree.

To honor places of special significance in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, the Presbyterian Historical Society established the American Presbyterian and Reformed Historic Sites Registry. Find out which sites are included in the list.

Living History is a multimedia project sharing diverse experiences and stories told firsthand by American Presbyterians. Watch participant films to learn how we make history together.

Presbyterians celebrate Heritage Sunday on the Sunday closest to May 21, the opening date of the first General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in 1789. Use these resources to plan this year's celebration for your congregation or learn more about past Heritage Sundays.

Presbyterians celebrate Reformation Sunday the last Sunday in October, marking the occasion in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany. Use these resources to commemorate Reformation Sunday or learn more about how the Reformation relates to Presbyterian history.

In 1987, the 199th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) established a list of honored names to recognize Presbyterians who died serving the church. Learn about the individuals on this hallowed list.