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Holiness . . . the Message of Hope
The following information is from the site run by:
Olivet Nazarene University
For further information, view our Articles of Faith


Introducing the Church of the Nazarene

Organized October 8, 1908, in Pilot Point, Texas, the Church of the Nazarene has made its home in Kansas City, Mo., since shortly after the birth of the denomination. The church's International Center is located at 6401 The Paseo at the intersection of 63rd Street and The Paseo. The Nazarene Publishing House is located at 2923 Troost Avenue, about five miles north of denominational headquarters.

The Nazarene International Center provides support services to more than 1.2 million members worshiping in more than 11,800 churches in the United States, Canada, and 135 other world areas. Services include maintaining ministerial credentials and church records, coordinating the support and sending of missionaries, developing Sunday School and discipleship curriculum, providing retirement support programs for pastors, encouraging the starting of new churches, developing satellite, Internet, and radio programs for outreach and education to all parts of the globe, and much more.

A People of Hope

The theme of the denomination for the next four years is "Holiness ... The Message of Hope." This theme expresses the pressing desire of the denomination to share the good news that Jesus Christ is the source of hope for our lives.


The Nazarene Publishing House (NPH) is the largest publisher of Holiness (Wesleyan) literature in the world. Products include Sunday School curriculum, music, periodicals, and books. In addition, many kinds of merchandise items are carried for the convenience of churches in fulfilling their mission. NPH prints more than 500,000 books annually and also produces a wide variety of periodicals and other publications. It is the largest mailer of second-class materials in Kansas City.

The following resources about the Church of the Nazarene are available for sale from the Nazarene Publishing House, toll-free at 800-877-0700 or at

What is the Church of the Nazarene?

Church of the Nazarene Manual (1997-2001)

What is a Nazarene? Understanding our Place in the Religious Community


Nazarenes support 10 liberal arts institutions in the United States, Canada, and Africa, as well as 2 graduate seminaries and 43 undergraduate Bible/theological colleges worldwide. The church operates 2 hospitals, 38 medical clinics, 3 nurses training colleges, 1 teacher training college, 1 junior college, and more than 430 primary and secondary schools, serving 51,000 children, outside the United States and Canada.

World Outreach

Nazarenes are passionate about making a difference in the world. This means taking the good news of Jesus Christ around the globe. In 1999 there were 738 missionaries and volunteers serving around the world. This missionary enterprise is made possible by the contributions of the global Nazarene family through free will offerings. Nazarenes are also engaged in starting new churches and in making their communities better places in which to live.


The Church of the Nazarene is the largest denomination in the Wesleyan-Arminian theological tradition. The doctrine that distinguishes the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesleyan denominations from most other Christian denominations is that of entire sanctification. Nazarenes believe that God calls Christians to a life of holy living that is marked by an act of God, cleansing the heart from original sin and filling the individual with love for God and humankind. This experience is marked by entire consecration of the believer to do God's will and is followed by a life of seeking to serve God through service to others. Like salvation, entire sanctification is an act of God's grace, not of works. Our pursuant service to God is an act of love whereby we show our appreciation for the grace that has been extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


The government of the Church of the Nazarene is a combination of episcopacy and congregationalism. Six elected representatives serve on the Board of General Superintendents. This board is charged with the responsibility of administering the worldwide work of the Church of the Nazarene. They also serve as the interpreters of the denomination's book of polity, the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene.

The General Assembly of the church serves as the supreme doctrine-formulating, lawmaking, and elective authority of the Church of the Nazarene, subject to the provisions of the church constitution. Comprised of elected representatives from all of the denomination's regular districts, the General Assembly meets quadrennially.

Besides the responsibilities listed above, the General Assembly elects the members of the Board of General Superintendents. It also considers legislative proposals from the church's 340 districts. Topics under consideration may range from the method of calling a pastor to bioethics.

The General Assembly also elects representatives to the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene. The General Board carries out the corporate business of the denomination.

A Tradition of Service

Nazarenes are a compassionate people. We believe in serving others! This is expressed locally through the services of members to their communities. Contributions from Nazarenes make possible the administration of Nazarene Compassionate Ministries in the U.S. and around the world. This ministry provides assistance to persons in communities hard hit by disaster or famine. In recent years, Nazarenes have been instrumental in assisting hurting people in every part of the globe. From war and famine relief in Rwanda and Zaire, to health care training in India, to serving orphaned children in Guatemala, to rebuilding homes and churches in the Ohio River Valley-Nazarenes are there through more than 170 full-time compassionate ministry centers and various other special projects.

The worldwide network of Nazarene churches makes it possible for the denomination to serve as a conduit of assistance to hurting nations. Nazarenes provide money for food, medical supplies, clothing, and other items to persons in a number of countries where there are pressing needs. In addition, the denomination's missionary infrastructure is often used by World Relief and similar agencies when they need assistance in getting supplies to people of countries in remote or troubled areas.

Nazarenes also offer their time and services on volunteer Work and Witness teams and Youth In Mission teams to build churches, schools, clinics, and to reach others for Christ.

The denomination is now involved in reaching out to persons around the globe through the power of technology. Satellite, Internet, and radio broadcasts in 43 languages are produced regularly to educate people about the gospel of Jesus Christ and to inform constituents and interested parties about people, programs, news, and events of interest in the life of the church.


Quick Facts About the Church of the Nazarene



Current Membership Worldwide


New Nazarenes in 1999


Number of organized churches


Number of districts


Ordained elders


NWMS (Nazarene World Mission Society) membership


NYI (Nazarene Youth International) membership


Total giving for all purposes



All figures based on 1999 statistics


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