Congregational Churches - History and Polity - Session 1
CUUC Practice of the Week: Congregational Polity
The Genius of Congregational Government
Robert Browne, Father of Congregationalism
Congregational Polity Part 8 Whats God Got to Do with It
Congregationalist polity, or congregational polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of ecclesiastical polity in which every local church congregation is independent, ecclesiastically sovereign, or "autonomous". Its first articulation in writing is the Cambridge Platform of 1648 in New England. Among those major Protestant Christian traditions that employ congregationalism are those Congregational churches known by the Congregationalist name that descended from the Independent Reformed wing of the Anglo-American Puritan movement of the 17th century, Quakerism, the Baptist churches, and most of the groups brought about by the Anabaptist movement in Germany that migrated to the US in the late 18th century, as well as the Congregational Methodist Church. More recent generations have witnessed also a growing number of non-denominational churches, which are most often congregationalist in their governance. In Christianity, congregationalism is distinguished most clearly from episcopal polity, which is governance by a hierarchy of bishops. But it is also distinct from presbyterian polity, in which higher assemblies of congregational representatives can exercise considerable authority over individual congregations.