AskDefine | Define reformed

Dictionary Definition

re-formed adj : formed again or anew; "the re-formed scout troop has been very active"Reformed adj
1 of or relating to the body of Protestant Christianity arising during the Reformation; used of some Protestant churches especially Calvinist as distinct from Lutheran; "Dutch Reformed theology"
2 caused to abandon an evil manner of living and follow a good one; "a reformed drunkard"

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. past of reform

Extensive Definition

The Reformed churches are a group of Christian Protestant Denominations formally characterized by a similar Calvinist system of doctrine, historically related to the churches which first arose especially in the Swiss Reformation led by Huldrych Zwingli and soon afterward appeared in nations throughout Western and Central Europe. Each nation in which the Reformed movement was originally established had its own church government. Several of these national churches have expanded to worldwide denominations and most have experienced splits into multiple denominations. Commitment to teaching the original Calvinism usually continues to be reflected in their official definitions of doctrine, but in some cases is no longer necessarily typical of these churches. A 1999 survey found 746 Reformed denominations worldwide.


The first Reformed Churches were established in Europe in the 1500s, in the wake of the Protestant Reformation.

Form of doctrine

Reformed doctrine is expressed in various confessions. A few confessions are shared by many denominations. Different denominations use different confessions, usually based on historical reasons. Some of the confessions still commonly in use are (with year of writing):
The Three forms of unity are common among Reformed churches with origins in the European continent (especially those in the Netherlands). The Westminster Standards have a similarly common use, among Reformed churches (known commonly as the Presbyterian churches) with origins in the British Isles. More recent confessions and creeds are shared by fewer denominations.

Form of governance

In contrast to the episcopal polity of the Anglican and many Lutheran and Methodist churches, Reformed churches have two main forms of governance: A sub-family of the Reformed churches, called Reformed Baptist churches, adheres to a modified Reformed confession and have Baptist views of the sacraments and of church government.

Reformed Churches worldwide

Around the world many churches of Reformed tradition emerged, both by migration and missionary work. Here is a List of Reformed churches.
reformed in Catalan: Església Reformada
reformed in Czech: Reformovaná církev
reformed in Danish: Reformerte kirke
reformed in German: Reformierte Kirche
reformed in Spanish: Iglesias Reformadas
reformed in Esperanto: Reformita Eklezio
reformed in French: Églises réformées
reformed in Korean: 개혁교회
reformed in Croatian: Reformirane kalvinističke crkve
reformed in Indonesian: Gereja Hervormd
reformed in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Ecclesias reformate
reformed in Italian: Chiese riformate
reformed in Lithuanian: Evangelikai reformatai
reformed in Hungarian: Református egyházak
reformed in Dutch: Gereformeerd
reformed in Japanese: 改革派教会
reformed in Occitan (post 1500): Glèisa Reformada
reformed in Low German: Reformeerte Kark
reformed in Portuguese: Igrejas Reformadas
reformed in Romanian: Biserica Reformată
reformed in Russian: Реформатская церковь
reformed in Simple English: Reformed churches
reformed in Finnish: Reformoidut kirkot
reformed in Swedish: Reformerta kyrkan
reformed in Turkish: Reform Kiliseleri

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