Ecclesiastical Polity

In the Acts of the Apostles the early forms of ecclesiastical government were documented. Since then ecclesiastical polity has been a decisive part of the development of Christianity. Ecclesiastical polity is the operational structure for governance of the Church. It involves the ministerial structure of the Church, as well as the impact and influence of laity, and how authority and human resources are used within the community. It also denotes the authority relationships between Christian communities. Polity relates closely to ecclesiology, as it is rooted in the mystery of the Church, expressed through doctrine and theology. In this course, the students will identify various types of ecclesial government, and how concepts of democracy, sustainability and gender can be applied to ecclesial structures of authority and governance, in particular in regard to laity. An important aspect of the course is the role of the ministers in the Church.

Efter kursen förväntas studenten:

  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of various expressions and theories about ecclesiastical polity
  • display advanced insight in how various theological thinkers have perceived the exercise of power in the Church
  • demonstrate the capability of connecting theological categories with polity
  • reflect critically on church polity from the perspective of democracy, sustainability and gender

Avis, Paul (2008). Beyond the Reformation? Authority, Primacy and Unity in the Conciliar Tradition. New York, NY: T&T Clark International (206 pp.).

Berniere, Paul (2003). Ministry in the Church. A Historical and Pastoral Approach. Mystic, Connecticut: Twenty-Third Publications (293 pp.).

Confallonieri, Luca Badini (2012). Democracy in the Christian Church. An Historical, Theological and Political Case. New York, NY: T&T Clark International (243 pp.).

Hovorun, Cyril (2017). Scaffolds of the Church. Towards Poststructural Ecclesiology. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books (234 pp.).

Howard, Dick (2010). The Primacy of the Political. A History of Political Thought from the Greeks to the French & American Revolutions. New York, NY: Columbia University Press (334 pp.).

Koffeman, Leo J. (2014). In Order to Serve. An Ecumenical Introduction to Church Polity. Zürich: Lit Verlag (264 pp.).

Snyder, Howard A. (2001). Models of the Kingdom. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers (156 pp.).

Valliere, Paul (2012). Conciliarism. A History of Decision–Making in the Church. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (251 pp.).

Witte Jr., John (2002). Law and Protestantism. The Legal Teachings of the Lutheran Reformation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (303 pp.).

Schemat finns tillgängligt senast en månad innan kursen startar. Vi rekommenderar inte att du skriver ut schemat eftersom vissa ändringar kan ske.

Öppna schemat

Sara Gehlin

Teol.dr, högskolelektor, ämnesföreträdare kyrkohistoria med missionsvetenskap och ekumenik


Adriana Bara




A = Framstående, B = Mycket bra, C = Bra, D = Tillfredsställande, E = Tillräcklig, Fx = Otillräcklig, komplettering möjlig, F = Otillräcklig


  • Hemtentamen
  • PM
  • Seminarier

Godkända kurser för en kandidatexamen i teologi/religionsvetenskap, 180 hp, där minst 150 hp utgörs av teologi/religionsvetenskap eller motsvarande. Dessutom kunskaper i engelska motsvarande kraven för grundläggande behörighet.

Completion of a course requires a minimum of 80% attendance at lectures and 100% attendance at seminars/group work and other assignments. Absence beyond that can be compensated by supplementing assignment(s) if the instructor finds it possible. In case of an absence of 50% or more, the course is considered as interrupted, even if assignments have been completed.

If a student due to disability has a decision from the EHS on special pedagogical support, the examiner shall, if necessary, adapt the examination and conduct the examination in an alternative way.

Fastställd av Ämnesföreträdarkollegiet vid Enskilda Högskolan Stockholm den 18 december 2019.