Congregationalism is a form of
Protestant Christianity that arose in England in the late 16th and 17th centuries. It emphasizes the right and responsibility of each properly organized congregation to determine its own affairs, without having to submit these
decisions to the judgment of any higher human authority, and as such it eliminated bishops and
presbyteries. Each individual church is regarded as independent and autonomous.
Baptists also practice this form of church government, but they are not referred to under the term Congregationalists. Congregationalists are those who practice this form of polity while also maintaining the practice
infant baptism like
- R. Tudur Jones, Congregationalism in England, 1662-1962. London: Independent Press, 1962.