Outline Of Protestantism

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Protestantism.

Protestantism – a form of Christian faith and practice which arose out of the Protestant Reformation, a movement against what the Protestants considered to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the major branches of the Christian religion, together with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Nature of Protestantism

Theology of Protestantism

Beliefs of Protestants

Branches of Protestantism

Major branches and movements within Protestantism

Major branches and movements within Protestantism.

Interdenominational movements

  • High church – a movement within Protestantism (especially in Anglican and Lutheran traditions) to employ a very formal style of worship, similar to that of the Catholic Church.
  • Evangelicalism – a Protestant Christian movement which began in the 17th century, but grew much more prominent in the 18th and 19th centuries during the Great Awakenings; it emphasizes personal conversion and individual piety as well as unity between different Christian denominations with the scope of spreading the Gospel (something they all share in common), while not ignoring the doctrinal differences that set them apart.
  • Ecumenism – a Christian movement, not particular to Protestantism, which seeks reconciliation between Christian denominations (Protestant as well as others) on doctrinal issues with the chief goal of reunification.
  • Holiness movement – a 19th century movement with roots in Wesleyan–Arminian theology which asserts that entire sanctification can be achieved as a second work of grace. This movement comprises multiple protestant traditions such as: MethodistsAnabaptistsQuakers and Pentecostals.
  • Liberal Christianity – a movement which is rooted in enlightenment thinking and emphasizes doctrinal reinterpretation (in light of new scientific discoveries) over creedalism, tradition or church authority.
  • Confessionalism – a Protestant movement, opposed to both Ecumenism and Liberalism, which refers to denominations that hold to their particular doctrines as they are defined in their confessions of faith, as opposed to striving for doctrinal reconciliation with other denominations. Adherents to the movement tend to be dogmatic and have a very well structured Systematic theology.
  • Christian Fundamentalism – a response to Liberalism, this movement is characterised by an unwavering devotion to the Bible to the point of Biblical literalism (with no room for allegorical or figurative interpretations). For this reason it has been accused of being a form of anti-intellectualism.
  • Confessing Movement – a movement within Liberal churches, which seeks to accomplish a conservative resurgence.
  • Charismatic movement – an interdenominational movement in traditional non-Pentecostal denominations which emphasizes contemporary experience of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • Progressive Christianity – a movement which is rooted in postmodern thinking and emphasizes theological diversity (to the point of affirming non-Christian religions as well) while being very active in social issues like racism, social justice and more.
  • Church Growth – also labeled as “Seeker Sensitive Movement” by its opponents, is a movement which aims to grow churches by appropriating their practices to what studies have shown people seek from a church.
  • Emerging church – a response to the formation of Megachurches by the Seeker sensitive movement, it emphasizes the importance of a small and personal Christian community at the cost of doctrinal diversity.
  • Young, Restless, Reformed movement – a response to the Seeker sensitive movement, the movement rejects the question “what people want from the church?” asking instead “what God wants from the church?”. It represents a return to the theology of the Reformers and Puritans which resulted in the adoption of Calvinist theology in historically non-Reformed churches.
Religion, Jesus, Baptism, Faith, Fish, Wave, CrossReligion Jesus Baptism Faith Fish Wave Cross

Religious symbols: Fish Wave, and Cross

History of Protestantism

Main article: History of Protestantism

Pre-Reformation figures and movements

Main article: Proto-Protestantism

Patristic Age

Middle Ages

  • Claudius of Turin – (Italy, ?–827)
  • Gottschalk of Orbais – (Germany, ?–868)
  • Ratramnus – (France, ?–868)
  • Berengar of Tours – (France, ?–1088)
    • Berengarians – (France, 11th century)
  • Peter of Bruys – (France, ?–1131)
    • Petrobrusians – (France, 12th century)
  • Henry of Lausanne – (France, ?–1148)
  • Arnold of Brescia – (Italy, 1090–1155)
    • Arnoldists – (Italy, 12th century)
  • Peter Waldo – (France, 1140–1205)
    • Waldensians – (Italy, 12th century – present)
  • Gregory of Rimini – (Italy, 1300–58)
  • Thomas Bradwardine – (England, 1300–49)
  • John Wycliffe – (England, 1320–84)
    • Lollards – (England, 14th – 16th century)
  • Friends of God – (Germany, 14th century)
  • Jan Hus – (Bohemia, ~1369–1415)
    • Bohemian Reformation – (Bohemia, 14th – 16th century)
    • Hussite Wars – (1420–~34)
    • Hussites – (15th century – present)
  • Jerome of Prague – (Bohemia, 1379–1416)
  • Jacob of Mies – (Bohemia, 1372–1429)


  • Lorenzo Valla – (Italy, 1407–1457)
  • Petr Chelčický – (Bohemia, 1390–1460)
  • Johannes von Goch – (Germany, 1400–1475)
  • Johann Ruchrat von Wesel – (Germany, ?–1481)
  • Wessel Gansfort – (Netherlands, 1419–1489)
  • Girolamo Savonarola – (Italy, 1452–1498)
    • Piagnoni – (Italy, 15th – 16th century)
  • Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples – (France, 1455–1536)
  • Desiderius Erasmus – (the Netherlands, 1466–1536)

The Protestant Reformation

  • Martin Luther – One of the first Protestant reformers in the 16th century, the term Lutheran was coined when Catholics labelled like-minded people Lutherans following the practice of naming a heresy after its leader in an attempt to discredit it.
    • The Ninety-Five Theses (31 October 1517) – Martin Luther’s list of complaints against the church.
    • Heidelberg Disputation (26 April 1518) –
    • Leipzig Debate (June and July 1519) –
    • Exsurge Domine (15 June 1520) – a papal bull condemning Martin Luther’s theses.
    • Decet Romanum Pontificem (3 January 1521) – the official excommunication of Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.
    • Diet of Worms (28 January to 25 May 1521) –
    • Marburg Colloquy (1–4 October 1529) – a meeting between Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli and other leading reformers.
    • Augsburg Confession (25 June 1530) – the first confession of faith of the Lutheran tradition.
  • German Peasants’ War – A peasants’ rebellion in Germany.
  • Schmalkaldic League –
  • Magisterial Reformation –
  • Radical Reformation – a section of the reformation movement seeking radical reform in the Church; the Anabaptists are major adherents.
  • Counter-Reformation – a series of reforms within the Catholic Church that occurred in response to the Protestant Reformation.

Reformation era movements

Personalities of the era of the Reformation

Protestant reformers

  • Martin Luther (1483–1546) – church reformer, Father of Protestantism, theological works guided those now known as Lutherans.
  • Huldrych Zwingli (1484–1531) – founder of the Swiss reformed tradition, reformation leader in Zürich.
  • Johannes Oecolampadius (1482–1531) – reformation leader in Basel.
  • William Tyndale (1494–1536) – English biblical scholar and linguist, author of the first English Bible translation to use the Hebrew and Greek texts as source.
  • Balthasar Hubmaier (1480–1528) – influential Anabaptist theologian, author of numerous works during his five years of ministry, tortured at Zwingli’s behest, and executed in Vienna.
  • Philipp Melanchthon (1497–1560) – early Lutheran leader, author of the Augsburg Confession.
  • Thomas Cranmer (1489–1556) – Archbishop of Canterbury and leading reformer in England.
  • Martin Bucer (1491–1551) – reformation leader in Strasbourg.
  • William Farel (1489–1565) – reformation leader in Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
  • Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499–1562) – Italian reformer.
  • Heinrich Bullinger (1504–1575) – successor of Zwingli, leading reformed theologian, co-author of the Helvetic Confessions.
  • John Calvin (1509–1564) – french theologian, reformation leader in Geneva, Switzerland, the founder of the school of theology known as Calvinism.
  • Zacharias Ursinus (1534–1583) – author of the Heidelberg Catechism.
  • Menno Simons (1496–1561) – founder of the Mennonites.
  • Guido de Bres (1522–1567) – student of John Calvin, author of the Belgic Confession.
  • John Knox (1514–1572) – Scottish Calvinist reformer, founder of the Church of Scotland.
  • Theodore Beza (1519–1605) – successor of Calvin, leading reformed theologian.
  • Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) – Dutch theologian, founder of the school of thought known as Arminianism.

Political figures

  • Frederick III (1463–1525) – Elector of Saxony (1486–1525), protector of Martin Luther.
  • Francis I (1494–1547) – king of France (1515–1547), a repressor of the Reformation.
  • Charles V (1500–1558) – emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1519–1556).
  • Henry VIII (1491–1547) – king of England, founder of the Church of England.
  • Edward VI (1537–1553) – king of England (1547–1553), significant reforms of the Church of England were implemented during his reign.
  • Mary I (1516–1558) – queen of England (1553–1558), a great persecutor of protestants.
  • Elizabeth I (1533–1603) – queen of England (1558–1603), most reforms of the Church of England were implemented during her reign.


  • Leo X (1513–1522)* – excommunicated Martin Luther from the Catholic Church.
  • Adrian VI (1522–1523) –
  • Clement VII (1523–1534) –
  • Paul III (1534–1549) – convoked the Council of Trent.
  • Julius III (1550–1555) –
  • Marcellus II (1555) –
  • Paul IV (1555–1559) –
  • Pius IV (1559–1565) –
  • Pius V (1566–1572) –

*dates represent the time of papacy

See also

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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