The Basics: defining evangelical presbyterian

Covenant Church is a part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) – what does that mean?


It means we are evangelical in theology, presbyterian in governance.


What do we mean by evangelical? The EPC defines it this way:

We are evangelical in our zeal for the gospel, as well as evangelism, missions, and living obediently as followers of Jesus. At the same time, we are rooted deeply in the Protestant Reformation and especially the theological and pastoral work of John Calvin. We embrace the Westminster Confession of Faith as our doctrinal standard, and the rule of spiritually mature elders linked together regionally as the best way to guide local congregations. (


Read more about our beliefs about Jesus, the Bible and God on the Evangelical Presbyterian Church website:


What do we mean by presbyterian? This describes how we, and the churches in our denomination, organize and govern ourselves. In a presbyterian church, a team of trusted people lead and serve the church. This team includes both teaching elders and ruling elders. 


Teaching elders are pastors, ordained in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and are members of the regional presbytery.

Ruling elders are those elected by a local congregation to help lead the local church, and are members of that church.


In the EPC, you’ll find three levels of organization:

1.     The local church

2.     The presbytery – a regional gathering of churches

3.     The General Assembly – the national gathering of churches


The EPC chooses to focus on the level of the local church. This means the presbytery and General Assembly work to serve the local church and its leaders as they follow God. (adapted from


Presbyteries meet regularly throughout the year at church campuses within the geographical boundaries of that presbytery. Covenant is a part of the Presbytery of the Midwest (, and occasionally hosts these meetings. You can read more about presbytery on Rob Eyman’s blog post here.