United Methodists share a common heritage with all Christians. According to our foundational statement of beliefs in The Book of Discipline, we share the following basic affirmations in common with all Christian communities:

We describe God in three persons. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are commonly used to refer to the threefold nature of God. Sometimes we use other terms, such as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

We believe in one God, who created the world and all that is in it; we believe that God is sovereign; that is, God is the ruler of the universe.  We believe that God is loving and we can experience His love and grace.


We believe that Jesus was human, that He lived as a man and died when he was crucified.  Jesus is divine, He is the Son of God.
God raised Jesus from the dead and the risen Christ lives today. (Christ and Messiah mean the same thing-God's anointed.)
We believe that Jesus is our Savior. In Christ we receive abundant life and forgiveness of sins.  Jesus is our Lord and we are called to pattern our lives after His life.
 
We believe that the Holy Spirit is God with us, that the Holy Spirit comforts us when we are in need and convicts us when we stray from God.  The Holy Spirit awakens us to God's will and empowers us to live obediently.
 
We believe that God created human beings in His image and that humans can choose to accept or reject a relationship with God. We believe that all humans need to be in relationship with God in order to be fully human.

We believe that the church is the body of Christ, an extension of Christ's life and ministry in the world today.  The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  We believe that the church is "the communion of saints," a community made up of all past, present, and future disciples of Christ.  The church is called to worship God and to support those who participate in its life as they grow in faith.

We believe that the Bible is God's Word and that the Bible is the primary authority for our faith and practice.  Christians need to know and study the Old Testament and the New Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian Scriptures).

We believe that the kingdom or reign of God is both a present reality and future hope, that wherever God's will is done, the kingdom or reign of God is present.  It was present in Jesus' ministry, and it is also present in our world whenever persons and communities experience reconciliation, restoration, and healing.  We believe that the fulfillment of God's kingdom--the complete restoration of creation--is still to come.  The church is called to be both witness to the vision of what God's kingdom will be like and a participant in helping to bring it to completion.

We believe that the reign of God is both personal and social. Personally, we display the kingdom of God as our hearts and minds are transformed and we become more Christ-like. Socially,  God's vision for the kingdom includes the restoration and transformation of all of creation.