Journal of Discipliana

Document Type



The Stone-Campbell Movement, of which the Disciples of Christ is one branch, takes pride in being a non-creedal faith community, but that status is more complicated than our claim would suggest. There is a tendency among Disciples to discount theology and confessions of faith, with some saying one can be a Disciple and believe anything one wishes. However, Disciples have deep Christological roots. While Disciples have historically turned to the Bible, and especially the New Testament, for confessional guidance the center of Disciples identity is the confession Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. This essay, which is meant to provoke discussion, calls for a stronger confessional commitment, especially in light of Disciple ecumenical commitments, to more deeply root our identity as a faith community in the historic Christian tradition.

Author Bio

Robert D. Cornwall served until his retirement in June 2021 as Senior Minister of Central Woodward Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Troy, Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He currently serves as a board member of the Disciples Christian Unity and Interfaith Ministries and co-chair of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America-Disciples of Christ Bilateral Dialog.