Christian Denominations


This section has been produced by Year 10 pupils at Stafford Grammar School as part of their GCSE RE course.

A revision guide on Major Divisions and Interpretations can be found in the Christianity section.


The non-Chalcedonian branch of Christianity include those Churches which did not accept the Chalcedonian definition of 451 CE. Catholic

The word 'catholic' means 'universal'. It is usually applied to the western branch of Christianity with its headquarters based in Rome and the Pope as its head. Orthodox

The word 'orthodox' means 'correct teaching'. It is usually applied to the various eastern branches of Christianity. In 1054 the eastern and western branches of Christianity separated over the supremacy of the Pope (the Bishop of Rome) and the western addition to the Nicene Creed of the 'filioque' (Latin for 'and the Son'). Protestant

Protestantism usually refers to those Churches which have their origins in the 16th century Protestant Reformation initiated by Martin Luther (1483-1546). The term 'Protestant' refers to the 'protest' against the spiritual power and authority of Rome (i.e. the Pope). Martin Luther objected to the way indulgences were being sold by travelling friars to help fund the massive building project in Rome. People believed that by buying an indulgence they could shorten their length of time spent in purgatory. Luther believed that a person's salvation was secured not by doing good works but by faith alone (sola fides).