This section presents important historical statements of United Church doctrine-the documents that express the substance of our faith.
From time to time, the United Church restates its faith in new ways to address changing contexts and new challenges. Stating the substance of our faith is thus an ongoing process.
Based on the understanding that the Bible is the ultimate standard for our faith, membership in the church is based on a profession of faith, not on adhering to a particular creed. New members are asked to profess their faith in the triune God-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-and to commit themselves to faithful conduct in the church and in the world. Additionally, United Church ministers are required to be in "essential agreement" with the 20 Articles of Faith set out in The Basis of Union.
Our membership in the World Council of Churches* links us to a fellowship of churches that confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures.
Above all, we trace our faith to the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, whose witness is the ultimate standard for Christian faith and life.
The doctrine of The United Church of Canada is set out in The Basis of Union (1925), which includes 20 Articles of Faith.
The church restated its faith in a new way in A Statement of Faith of 1940. This statement reminds us that "The Church's faith is the unchanging Gospel of God's holy, redeeming love revealed in Jesus Christ." It also declares that each new generation is called to state this gospel afresh, "in terms of the thought of their own age and with the emphasis their age needs."
The call to renew our confession led to A New Creed (1968), an affirmation of faith used widely in our worship. It also led to statements such as The Lordship of Jesus (1978) and The Authority and Interpretation of Scripture [PDF: 49 pp/367 KB] (1992).
In August 2006, the 39th General Council approved the English version of a new statement of faith, A Song of Faith.