Our Beliefs

What We Believe

As followers of Jesus, we believe:

In Justification by Faith

We are justified, which means we are brought into a right relationship with God through grace. This doesn’t happen by our own effort but by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus took sin upon himself and became the full and final sacrifice for the sins of the world.

In the Authority of Scripture

Scripture is the written revelation of God and always points through the Holy Spirit to the living revelation of God in Christ. The purpose of scripture is to bring persons to salvation and guide them in living a life of faith.

In the Affirmation of the Majesty, Holiness, and Providence of God

God is the one who creates, sustains, rules, and redeems the world in his sovereign righteousness and love.

As Protestants, we believe:

As Presbyterians, we emphasize:

The Sovereignty of God

We know that the actions of God are intentional and directed toward accomplishing his purposes. God also uses human means, but these do not involve coercion. We are still responsible for our decisions and actions. Scripture calls us to both concepts.


Before we ever said yes to God, God said yes to us. The central point is that the initiative belongs to God, and we respond to Him. We cannot boast in the fact that we say yes to his salvation. Election is the Reformed way of saying “grace alone.”


God has made a covenant, or promise, with his people. This has always been a covenant of grace. God promises that he will be our God and we will be his people if we believe and have faith.


Redemption calls us to respond in gratitude to God by caring for all he has given us. As we recognize that every gift comes from God, so we recognize our responsibility to render back a portion of what has been given us in these areas. This might include time, talent, and treasures.

Sin of Idolatry

An idol is anything we create that we give our ultimate allegiance to. According to Reformed theology, this idolatry is the root “problem.” When we create idols, we actively suppress our knowledge of God and choose to not acknowledge him as our creator.


We are to be obedient to the word of God, which directs us to work toward transforming society. Our lives are a response to all that God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—has done and is doing.

Common Questions

We’re often asked what Presbyterians believe about heaven, hell, salvation, and marriage.

Here’s a quick summary of our beliefs on several key topics.

We believe God exists in the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Christ is the Son of God, the Revealer of God, and the Savior of humanity.

The souls of the faithful are reunited with God in a warm and loving relationship for eternity.

Hell is separation from God and may exist now as well as in the hereafter.

Presbyterians believe that Jesus’ birth was miraculous.

Mary is honored as the mother of Jesus, the special person chosen to bear the Son of God.

The resurrection of the body refers to the reuniting of the spiritual body and physical body.

This is voluntary and made directly to God, although it may be made in the presence of another believer.

God grants the gift of grace (unmerited favor), which enables us to gain the faith necessary for salvation. We are saved by grace rather than by good deeds, correct beliefs, or human ceremonies. It is not possible to earn salvation—it can only be accepted with thanksgiving and joy.

The empty cross symbolizes the risen Christ who opened the kingdom of heaven.

Marriage is a covenant through which a man and a woman are called to live out lives of discipleship together before God. Read our statement here

Presbyterians admit different understandings of the Confession of Faith. This is because they believe the church should be open to the reform of its standards of doctrine.

Parenthood is a gift, but there is nothing in the church’s teaching that discourages intelligent, unselfish family planning.

Presbyterians place a great deal of stress on education, both for the ministry and for the laity.

No Christian church has exclusive possession of the church government authorized by Christ.

Presbyterians recognize two sacraments as described in the Bible: baptism and communion.


The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

University Presbyterian Church is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), also called PC(USA) denomination.

PC(USA) churches are confessional and connectional communities governed by laymen and laywomen called elders. Our theology is reformed and we have ministers and church members represented in our government.

The Fellowship Community

UPC is also part of The Fellowship Community, an association of churches within and outside PC(USA) founded in 2011 to foster flourishing churches by sharing ideas, ministry resources, and strategies to fulfill Jesus’ mission of making disciples. 

The Covenant and Essential Tenets of The Fellowship Community align with UPC’s understanding of scripture, theology, and our historic confessions. 

Being a part of The Fellowship Community allows UPC to stay in relationship with long-time church partners who may have left PC(USA). It also offers accountability with other evangelical churches in ways not presently offered within PC(USA) as we seek to fulfill our common mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ within a Reformed and evangelical heritage.