Difference Between Methodist and Presbyterian

Key Difference – Methodist vs Presbyterian

Methodists and Presbyterians are both Protestants and form two of the many denominations that are there in Christianity with slight differences in beliefs and practices. Though both denominations of the same Protestant Church strongly believe in Jesus as the savior of mankind, there are differences in the manner in which these two denominations practice their faith. This article attempts to highlight the differences between Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

Who is a Methodist?

Methodism is a branch of the Protestant Church that has nearly 70 million followers around the world. It is credited to Wesley brothers Charles and John who led a reform movement in the 18th century to rid Christianity of many dogmas and beliefs. The important features of Methodism are missionary work, service through hospitals, schools and orphanage, and the spread of the gospel. Wesley brothers along with their followers had set up a club and worked upon ways to lead a holy life. Their method and approach was very methodical, and this is the reason why they were labeled as Methodists by others. It was after the death of John Wesley that Methodists formed a separate denomination within the fold of Christianity.

Difference Between Methodist and Presbyterian

Who is a Presbyterian?

Presbyterian Church is a branch of Protestant Church that is greatly influenced by the beliefs and teachings of John Calvin, the great 18th century theologian from France. He in turn was himself influenced by the reform movement led by Martin Luther in Germany in the 16th century. This branch of Christianity originated in Scotland, and it spread to Americas with the help of Scottish immigrants. The Church strongly believes in the supremacy of the almighty and the scriptures, and the emphasis is on the grace of God for the follower.

 Methodist vs Presbyterian

What is the difference between Methodist and Presbyterian?

Definitions of Methodist and Presbyterian:

Methodist: Methodists believe that men can ask god for his grace to save themselves though they are fallen.

Presbyterian: Presbyterian Church believes that men need the grace of god for their salvation, and they cannot seek god on their own.

Characteristics of Methodist and Presbyterian:


Methodist: Methodist Church says that all those who believe in him will get salvation.

Presbyterian: Presbyterian Church says that god has already chosen those he wants to save.


Methodist: Methodist Church says that all those who believe in him will get salvation.

Presbyterian: Presbyterian Church, once god has chosen a person to be saved, he is always saved.


Methodist: Methodism has its roots in the teachings of Wesley brothers Charles and John in the 18th century in England..

Presbyterian: John Knox is believed to have founded the Presbyterian Church in Scotland based upon the beliefs and teachings of John Calvin.


Image Courtesy:

1. “Hay Street United Methodist Church” by Gerry Dincher – Flickr: Hay Street United Methodist Church. [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Commons

2. Wentworthville Presbyterian Church By J Bar (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

  • Noneyourbiznezz

    There is no such thing as a “Protestant Church”; there are many different Churches that are Protestant. Protestants are people who deny the authority of the Pope and are ‘Reformed Catholics’. There are many different Reformed Churches.

    • Stephen “Steve” Sponsler

      I’ll go with that – denominations in the end are meaningless as is Catholicism. in regard to God’s Sovereignty. If a person never heard of Catholicism or any other ugly root branch that came out of that tree it would not affect their chances of salvation – the rest is gravy – the protest was about the exclusive nature of the Popery and its invisible claim to be the kingdom of God on earth pretending the Pope (papa -GOD) is the leader as a Christ figure of the so-called true religion. They are all man-made religions of no value and a hindrance to God’s Plan of Salvation (in part) but not competely so. I person can become a Child of God never knowing a thing about any of those church doctrines

  • DOUG

    I pretty much agree with the definitions given in this article but I would like to clarify one thing. It says that “Presbyterians believe that God has already chosen those he wants to save whereas Methodists say that all those who believe in Christ will get salvation.” Actually Presbyterians also believe that all who believe are saved…. the difference between the two is who does the choosing. Methodists believe that men come to God through their freewill, that God gives them enough grace to be able to come on their own. Early Presbyterians believed that God has chosen all who will come to Christ. Before anyone was ever born, God knew the people he would choose, and that he didn’t choose anyone based on their good works, on the contrary, he chose certain sinners to receive grace and mercy to come to Christ while he passed by others to receive the gift. It is a hard doctrine for many to accept, and the freewill doctrine that man chooses God is more pleasing to most people, and has really gotten a foothold in most denominations ….but God is not a man and his ways cannot be judged by what men may want to think. If you go by what the scriptures say, the overwhelming evidence is that God is sovereign, God chooses, and God hardens whom he will. There are a few verses that are used by “freewillers” to try to support the “freewill decision” that man chooses, but the overwhelming amount of clearly stated verses in the Holy Bible say that God chose believers before the foundation of the world. “All that the Father gives me shall come to me” says Jesus. Only those chosen and given to Christ will come to him, and Christ did not die on the cross for anyone except those whom the Father has given him to save.