Christianity

Christianity takes its roots in the 1st century and is centered around the person and work of Jesus Christ. Christianity has three main branches of belief and practice: Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Christians worship a triune God, professing Jesus Christ as the savior of the world, and believing in the power of the Holy Spirit to sanctify and transform lives. 

The Catholic church has communities around the globe, and its governing center is in Rome, Italy.

The Orthodox church, or the Eastern half of the Christian church, became independent from the Catholic church in 1054 A.D. Orthodox Christians are incredibly diverse, and among the nationalities and cultures represented are Antiochian, Carpatho-Russian, Greek, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian.

The Protestant church formed in the 16th century, splitting from the Catholic church over disputes about faith and justification. The Protestant church is furthered divided into denominations, including Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Wesleyan.

Important Terms
God: God is triune, meaning that God is One in Three Persons, without division or distinction. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Communion, or Eucharist: A regular sharing in the elements of bread and wine, which for Protestants signify the body and blood of Jesus, and for Catholics, become the body and blood of Jesus. Communion is the central act of Christian worship.
Sacraments: Visible signs of God's grace in the world. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have seven sacraments, while Protestants have two.
The Creeds: The Nicene Creed and the Apostles Creed are ancient church documents that affirm that basic tenants of Christian faith and are held as definitive for all Christian communities.

Important Religious Texts

The Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments. The Catholic and Orthodox traditions also include seven aprocraphal books.

Customs

Because of the diversity within Christianity, each branch has its own unique set of customs and traditions.

Worship, prayer, and practice

Christian traditions usually gather to worship in churches on Sundays. Most Sunday services share the common elements of hymn singing, hearing the reading of the Bible, listening to a sermon, sharing communion, and praying together. 

Student Life
BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY

Marco Masini
Associate Vice President
Phone: (630) 829-6124
E-mail: mmasini@ben.edu

Carrie Roberts
Director of Campus Ministry
Phone: (630) 829-6028
E-mail: croberts@ben.edu