The Methodist Social Creed Adopted
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Founder
Methodist Federation for Social Services
Time Period
1908
Description
Entering the 20th century, the Methodists began to embrace a more liberal theology, one that was concerned with social ills, like poverty and worker exploitation. Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians also began emphasizing a "social" gospel, not just an individual gospel.

To begin addressing social problems, the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) organized the Methodist Federation for Social Services in late 1907. During the 1908 General Conference, leaders of this federation created a statement known as "The Church and Social Problems." Feeling the statement was too long, Chicago pastor Harry Ward helped summarize the lengthy report into a short creed detailing 11 social reforms the church should promote, including the abolition of child labor and support for worker rights. This became known as the "Social Creed" of the Methodist Church, which was adopted in 1908 and expanded over time.

This event made the MEC one of the first Protestant denominations to officially adopt a distinct social creed.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Methodist Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Methodist/Pietist Family: Other ARDA Links

Photographs

Social Creed, first page- Hathi Trust

Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, title page- Internet Archive
Book/Journal Source(s)
Lippy, Charles H., and Peter W. Williams, 1988. Encyclopedia of American Religious Experience. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
Web Source(s)
http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-the-creed-of-the-united-methodist-church
"What is the Creed of The United Methodist Church?"
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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