• All hold the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed to be the most essential statement of the Christian faith.
  • Churches are governed regionally and universally by bishops (episkopos) in the lines of apostolic succession. Bishops in higher administrative ranks may have other titles, such as archbishop, metropolitan, pope, patriarch, catholicos, etc. –
  • A priest (presbyteros) is ordained by a bishop for the guidance of the faithful and the administering of the holy sacraments. Bishops also ordain deacons (diakonos).
  • Apostolic churches hold that sacraments are visible means, through which God extends his divine grace. All Apostolic Churches agree that Baptism, Eucharist (Divine Liturgy / Holy Mass), Chrismation (Confirmation), Matrimony, Holy Orders (Ordination), Reconciliation (Confession) and Unction (Anointing) constitute the major Sacraments. Others, such as blessings and rituals, are considered Sacramentals.
  • Churches have a traditional liturgy, which changes somewhat throughout the liturgical year by emphasizing different aspects of God’s teaching and Christian life.
  • All Churches recognize the apostolic authority of at least the Jerusalem Council of 50 A.D. and the first three Ecumenical Councils (gatherings of the Apostles’ successors, the bishops) of Nicea (325 A.D.), Constantinople (381 A.D.) and Ephesus (431 A.D.).
  • All but a few of the smaller independent apostolic churches have communities for Religious (monastic) life.
  • All uphold the belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
  • All baptize infants.