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Episcopalian vs Methodist – Complete Guide

ByZubair Ahmed

Feb 9, 2023
Episcopalian vs Methodist - Complete Guide

Episcopalian vs Methodist is a comparison between two of the most popular Protestant denominations in the United States. Both are forms of Christianity, but they do have several key differences that set them apart. Episcopalianism and Methodism have several similarities when it comes to core Christian beliefs; both belief in the trinity, atonement through Jesus’ death on the cross, salvation by grace through faith, and the authority of scripture.

In the history of mankind, generations have sprouted from one another from time immemorial. It is as they grow that they discover who they are in need of making changes to remain relevant and to relate better with their environment. This is the same with the two religious denominations under comparison, Episcopalian vs Methodist. This article will help you to understand their differences and similarities better.

Explanation of Episcopalian:

It is a form of Christianity that traces its roots to the Church of England. It believes in a more liturgical approach and follows the Book of Common Prayer during services. It is a hierarchical form of faith and its clergy are led by bishops, who hold the highest authority within the church. The core beliefs of Episcopalianism include the trinity, atonement through Jesus’ death on the cross, justification by faith and grace alone, and the authority of scripture.

Explanation of Methodist:

Methodism is also a form of Christianity that traces its roots to the Church of England. It was founded by John Wesley and is known for its emphasis on personal piety and social justice. It takes a more evangelical approach to faith than Episcopalianism, relying less on liturgies and more on individuals’ personal experiences. The core beliefs of Methodism are similar to those of Episcopalianism, but it does not have the same hierarchical structure and does not believe in the authority of bishops.

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Key Differences between Episcopalian and Methodist:

The first major difference between Episcopalianism and Methodism is their respective hierarchy structures. The Episcopal Church follows a hierarchical system that is headed by bishops that oversee their specific regions throughout the world. The Methodist Church, on the other hand, follows a more democratic structure in which lower-level pastors and lay leaders can participate in decision-making processes with higher-level authorities. This allows for more flexibility within the Methodist denomination compared to its Episcopal counterpart.

Another difference between these two denominations lies in their emphasis on sacraments. While both denominations recognize traditional Christian sacraments such as baptism and communion, Episcopalianism places much greater emphasis on these rituals than Methodism does. For instance, Episcopalians generally believe that baptisms must be performed by a priest and believe strongly in the power of Holy Communion to confer grace and forgiveness upon those who partake of it. Methodists do not view either ritual in such an authoritative way and instead place greater emphasis on personal faith rather than ritualistic observances.


The core principles of Episcopalianism and Methodism are closely aligned. Both denominations believe in the trinity, atonement through Jesus’ death on the cross, justification by faith and grace alone, and the authority of scripture.

Communal life:

Episcopalianism and Methodism also have some differences in their communal life. Episcopalians tend to be more formal in their worship services, relying heavily on liturgies and hymns. Methodists, however, often have more informal services that focus less on ritual and more on individual testimonies and personal faith experiences.

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Episcopalians and Methodists also have different approaches to worship. Episcopalians tend to be more traditional in their approach, relying heavily on liturgy, music, and prayer. Methodists have a more informal approach that often includes non-traditional elements such as spoken testimony and personal readings from the Bible.


Episcopalians tend to focus on evangelism through outreach, education, and service within their own communities, while Methodists are much more proactive in sharing their faith with others. Methodists often send missionaries to foreign countries, whereas Episcopalians tend to focus more on outreach efforts in their own regions.

Decision Making:

In terms of decision-making, Episcopalians are guided by a hierarchical structure and bishops who can make authoritative decisions regarding doctrine and other matters. Methodists, on the other hand, have a more democratic system in which lower-level pastors and lay leaders have a say in the decision-making process.

Ultimately, both Episcopalianism and Methodism are forms of Christianity that share many core beliefs and principles. However, the two denominations also have some distinct differences in terms of their hierarchical structures, liturgical practices, and approach to evangelism. These differences can help inform a person’s decision when considering which denomination is right for them.

Episcopal vs Methodist: Comparison Table


Episcopal Methodist




Founding Date 1534



Yes No
Hierarchy Yes



Yes No
Sacraments 7



Literal Literal
Social Justice Emphasis



Episcopalianism and Methodism both have core beliefs that are in line with traditional Christian doctrine. However, there are some differences between the two, including their hierarchical structure, emphasis on sacraments, communal life, worship approach, and evangelism efforts. Ultimately, these differences can help inform an individual’s decision when choosing which denomination is right for them.

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By Zubair Ahmed

Welcome to my website, and thank you for taking the time to learn more about me. My name is Zubair Ahmed, and I am a professional website writer with over five years of experience in creating high-quality content for websites.

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