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 of infant baptism like Presbyterians.


  • R. Tudur Jones, Congregationalism in England, 1662-1962. London: Independent Press, 1962.