Difference Between Doctrine and Dogma

Doctrine vs Dogma

Dogma is a belief system held in a religion that makes the edifice of the region. This system contributes to the core of the religion and cannot be discarded without affecting the rudimentary fabric of the religion. There is another word doctrine that refers to the teachings of the religion and make up the morals and the faith of the members. The two words dogma and doctrine are very similar to each other and often used interchangeably by people. However, the two concepts are not the same and this article attempts to highlight the subtle differences between dogma and doctrine.


Dogmas are beliefs found in most religions that are central to the existence of the faith. These are beliefs that are to be upheld by all faithful followers. Dogmas happen to be fundamental elements in any faith and hence they cannot be contradicted. If any person tries to question a dogma, he may be expelled from the folds of that religion. Dogmas are beliefs coming from the Holy Scriptures, and as such, they are believed to be paths taking us to salvation and towards God. Dogmas cannot be changed or questioned; they are believed to be universal and true. These beliefs are beyond doubt and question. Dogmas are truths reveled by Christ himself and thus they are essential to the Christian faith.


Doctrines are teachings of the church that include the fundamental truths as well as those teachings that are not central to the existence of faith or the church. Some doctrines may not be essential, but they are nonetheless important in holding the rubric of the faith together in a cohesive manner. So, if an individual wants to know the view of the church about our environment and how to play our role in preserving our environment, the teaching of the church in this regard may be a doctrine that is not essential to the existence of the faith. All the teachings of the church fall under the category of doctrines, whether we are talking about faith or morals.

What is the difference between Doctrine and Dogma?

• Both dogmas and doctrines are teachings of the church, but dogmas are more important and cannot be changed or questioned.

• In fact, dogmas are fundamental to the existence of the faith and have to be adhered to by all the faithful followers of the religion.

• Dogmas are infallible and believed to have come from the Christ himself.

• Dogmas are that part of doctrines that have been written in the Holy Scriptures and believed to be divine in nature.

• A dogma is always a doctrine, but not all doctrines can be called dogmas.

• Beliefs that are required to be followed by all faithful followers of the religion are dogmas.

• Doctrines consist of those that are of divine faith as well as those that are of catholic faith.