Below are video links that answer the question...

What in the world is a presbyterian?

Thanks to our sisters and brothers in Christ at First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham Michigan (click here for their website), the following videos have been made available to view so you can get a brief overview of what it means to be a Presbyterian.  These short videos (the longest is 23 minutes) are meant to give you an idea about Presbyterian beliefs and how we order church life and leadership.  We hope you learn something new and that God blesses you as you watch. 

  • 1. What we Believe

    Check out this overview of historical Presbyterian beliefs.  Click on the image of the "MORE" button to watch the video.

  • 2. How we govern ourselves

    Check out this brief overview of how we structure our church government.  Click on the image or the "MORE" button to watch the video.

    Presbyterian Polity (click here for biblical roots of our polity)

    Presbyterian churches are governed by what is known as Presbyterian Polity, a unique church governance system that balances authority between the Denomination and the Congregation. This system was developed by John Calvin in Geneva and spread by John Knox to Scotland. Scottish immigrants brought Presbyterian doctrine and polity to America.

    What is so unique about Presbyterian Polity is that authority flows both from the Congregation up and from the Denomination down. To prevent powerful hierarchies governed by a single individual, presbyters are elected by congregation members to serve on assemblies. Once elected assemblies are responsible to exercise authority over congregations. Regional groups of congregations form a Presbytery. Groups of Presbyteries are governed by a Synod. Together, the Synods compose the General Assembly.

    Local Congregations govern themselves through an elected board called the Session (from the Latin word meaning “to sit”). Session members serve for three years. Each year, one third of the Session members retire from Session and are replaced by members elected as elders by those previously retired. This provides stability and continuity in governing the congregation. A senior Minister moderates the Session which is headed by the Clerk of Session, neither of whom are voting members of the session.

  • 3. The book of order

    An overview of the biblically based "Book of Order" which serves as our legal 'constitution' of the church.  Click on the image or the "MORE" button to watch the video. 

  • 4. Historical Principles for church order

    Click on the Image to be taken to the Presbyterian Historical Society to find out about some of Presbyterian history.  Click on the "MORE" button to watch a brief overview of the historical principles that have guided the church.  

  • 5. Historical PRINCIPLES of church government

    Click the "MORE" button to watch a video about this topic.

  • 6. The session

    The Session is the leadership of the local church.  Click the image or the "MORE" button to watch a brief overview of the Session.  

  • 7. OUr confessions

    A brief overview of the Book of Confessions.  Along with the Book of Order they make up the church's constitution.  Scripture always has been and always will be the supreme standard of faith and practice.  Confession attempt to put down specific things the Church has believed in the past and upholds to this day.  Click on the image or the "MORE" button to watch the video overview. 

  • 8. Ordered ministry

    What does it mean to be ordained?  What does it mean to be a part of an 'ordered ministry' of the church?  Find out by clicking on the image or the "MORE" button to watch a brief overview. 

  • 9. Questions for Ordination

    Click on the image or the "MORE" button to find out more about the commitments made by those who are 'ordained' (set apart for service) in the church.  Click on the image or the "MORE" button to watch the video.

  • 10.  The sacraments

    There are 2 sacraments in the Presbyterian Church; baptism and Holy Communion.  Check out this video for an overview of the Presbyterian perspective on these sacraments.  Click on the image or the "MORE" button to watch the video.