THE UNITY of the Reformed Church in the U.S. (RCUS) consists to a large extent in its faithful adherence to a common faith and doctrine. The denomination affirms the great creeds of the early church—the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds—which define historic Christianity. It also subscribes to key doctrinal statements of the Protestant Reformation— the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism
(1563), and the Canons of Dort (1618–19), which together are called the Three Forms of Unity. The Bible exhorts us to promote the unity of the church through common beliefs: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:1–6). It also calls us to have a unity of heart and mind; “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind” (Phil. 2:1–3). Faith is a personal act that has as its content a body of objective truths which we confess in unity with other Christians. The New Testament peaks of “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3; cf. Acts 6:7, 14:22; Gal. 1:23). Biblical faith is intelligible and can be theologically articulated in creed, catechism, and confession.

Heidelberg Catechism

Theology in question and answer format


Belgic Confession

RCUS Doctrinal Standard


Cannons of Dort

1618 document against the remonstrants