World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Westminster Standards

Title page of a 1658 edition of the Standards published in England. It includes the Scripture references "at large" meaning they are fully written out.

The Westminster Standards is a collective name for the documents drawn up by the Westminster Assembly (1643–49). These include the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the Westminster Larger Catechism, the Directory of Public Worship, and the Form of Church Government,[1] and represent the doctrine and church polity of 17th-century English and Scottish Presbyterianism. The Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechism have been adopted as doctrinal standards by a number of Reformed and Presbyterian Christian denominations.[2][3]

Following the approval of the Confession and catechisms by the Church of Scotland in 1648, printers in England and Scotland began publishing them with other religious documents in collections referred to as the Westminster Standards. In 1658 printers began including the full Scripture passages which are cited in the confessional documents. These collections became standardized in a 1728 edition, which follows a 1679 work published by Covenanters exiled in Holland and contains twenty-two documents including parliamentary acts related to the Assembly and devotional works. These collections were intended to serve as ecclesiastical manuals as well as comprehensive popular religious books. The 1728 form of the Standards continues to be printed by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.[4]

In the nineteenth century, several churches separated from the Church of Scotland on the basis of the established church's departure from a list of documents similar to those found in standard collections of the Westminster Standards. Dissenters asserted that the General Assembly had adopted these documents, but the only Westminster documents accepted by the Church of Scotland were the Confession and catechisms.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Thomson 1993
  2. ^ Orthodox Presbyterian Church 2012
  3. ^ North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council 1996, Basis of the Council
  4. ^ Coldwell, Chris (2005). "The Traditional Form of the Westminster Standards" (PDF). Confessional Presbyterian 1. 
  5. ^ Spear, Wayne R. (2013) [1976]. Covenanted uniformity in religion: the influence of the Scottish commissioners on the ecclesiology of the Westminster Assembly. Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books. pp. 196–198.  


  • North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council (1996), Constitution & Bylaws of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council, retrieved 2012-11-28 
  • Orthodox Presbyterian Church (2012), Confession and Catechisms, retrieved 2012-11-28 
  • Thomson, Derick (1993), "Westminster Standards", in Wright, David; Laehman, David; Meek, Donald, The Dictionary of Scottish Church History & Theology, InterVarsity Press, pp. 862–865,  

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.