Difference Between Lutheran and Presbyterian

Key Difference – Lutheran vs Presbyterian 


Christianity is the largest faith in the world with more than 2 billion followers. However, it is one religion that is divided in the form of many churches or denominations. Two such denominations are Lutheran and Presbyterian that have many similarities like praise of Christ and belief in his teachings. Both churches believe in Christ being the savior of mankind and his sacrifice for the salvation of us humans. However, there are also differences between Lutheran and Presbyterian that will be discussed in this article.

Who is a Lutheran?

Lutherans are the followers of Luther who was a German monk and theologian. He was a Catholic who was peeved by the beliefs and doctrines in the Christian faith that he believed were inconsistent with the Holy Bible. He stood in defiance against the dogmas and practices of the Roman Catholic Church in 1521 and introduced his theses called The 95 Theses to bring about a change in the religion. He did not want a separation from the Church but had to face the wrath and opposition of the clergy and the Roman Catholic Church. His followers who believed in his principles formed a separate denomination and were referred to as Lutherans. Lutherans is one of the most important denominations in Christian religion around the world.

Difference Between Lutheran and Presbyterian

What is Presbyterian?

Presbyterian is a Church or denomination within the fold of Christianity that is loosely based upon the teachings of Calvin. The word is derived from the Greek Presbyteros that means elders. The modern day Presbyterian Church can be traced back to the protestant reformation during the 16th century with the most influential figure in this denomination being John Calvin, the father figure of theology from France. He wrote all about reformation in Geneva where he had to flee to escape the wrath of the traditionalists in France. From Geneva, his teachings spread to other parts of Europe. This movement reached America from Britain. The distinguishing features of Presbyterian Church are the belief in the Supremacy of the Almighty and the Bible and justification by grace. Followers of this denomination believe that God is supreme and that our salvation through Jesus is God’s gift to humanity.

 Lutheran vs Presbyterian

What is the difference between Lutheran and Presbyterian?

Definitions of Lutheran and Presbyterian:

Lutheran: Lutherans are the followers of Luther who was a German monk and theologian.

Presbyterian: Presbyterian is a Church or denomination within the fold of Christianity that is loosely based upon the teachings of Calvin.

Characteristics of Lutheran and Presbyterian:


Lutheran: Lutherans are protestants.

Presbyterian: Presbyterian are protestants.


Lutheran: Lutherans are more liberal in approach than Presbyterians. Lutherans believe that Jesus gave his life for the salvation of the entire mankind.

Presbyterian: Presbyterian believe that only the chosen few are saved while the left over are destined to burn in hell for eternity.


Lutheran: If you have faith in Jesus, Lutherans believe they will be saved.

Presbyterian: For Presbyterians, it is not a matter of faith alone as God has already chosen whom to protect.


Image Courtesy:

1. “St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Eden New York left view from street” by Buffalutheran – Own work. [CC0] via Commons

2. “First Presbyterian Church Batavia NY Oct 09” by Pubdog (talk) [Public Domain] via Commons