I was wondering

  • whether a church is Protestant or Catholic,

  • whether it is mainline or evangelical,

  • which branch (e.g. Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists) it belongs to,

  • which denomination (e.g. Presbyterian Church USA, Presbyterian Church in America) it belongs to.


  • 2
    The church website usually provides clues from their history, statement of beliefs, about us, and memberships with denomination / association. We just need to be familiar with the terminologies and the history of the organizations. Commented May 29, 2020 at 21:33
  • I have tried already
    – Tim
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 21:42
  • 2
    There is no hard and fast rule. Oh, I noticed your posts in the chat room, if you still need assistance for a specific church, please continue to post there. Commented May 29, 2020 at 21:43

2 Answers 2


Based on the link you provided, the City of Hope International Church, based in Kearny, N.J. in the U.S.A., started out as an Assembly of God Church.

In 1979 it became non-denominational.

In 2000 it expanded and founded the Kearny Christian Academy.

In 2001 it was renamed to the City of Hope International Church in order to enlarge their apostolic sphere.

In 2007 they acquired a campus which has become their H.Q. for ministry.

All of this information is found on their web site: cohic.com/ourhistory

The one, vital piece of information that is entirely missing is what they actually believe.

Whether they still hold to the basic theology of the Assembly of God church is not mentioned. Here is a link that you might find useful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assemblies_of_God

What we seem to have here is a non-denominational church that is in the business of "church planting" and reaching out into the community. Why they don't focus on their beliefs is worrying. I suggest you pick up the phone and ask them.

  • Thanks. (1) What could be some benefits and challenges of becoming non-denominational? (2) What do you mean by "not focus on their beliefs"?
    – Tim
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 17:45
  • Q 2 - The official web site focuses on what they DO, not on what they believe. Why isn't that information transparent? Why isn't their faith at the top of the agenda? Why all the attention to their campus and what they do in the community? As for Q 1 that is an entirely different question and to discuss that here would be to go off-topic. It has almost certainly been covered already on Christianity Stack Exchange. Do a search. If I find anything I will let you know.
    – Lesley
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 7:11
  • Some useful information here: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/17259/…
    – Lesley
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 7:19
  • More useful information here: gotquestions.org/non-denominational-church.html
    – Lesley
    Commented May 31, 2020 at 7:20

Most churches identify themselves and their denomination pretty clearly. If a church has a sign outside it generally gives its full name, which usually includes the name of the denomination if it has one. For example a Catholic church called "Saint Anthony's" will usually have a sign saying "Saint Anthony's Catholic Church" outside, and the same for larger denominations like Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran etc.

The same is true of a church website, which generally gives the full name including denomination. It may also give the denomination under a page like "What we believe".

A lot of churches will identify as "Baptist", which probably tells you what you want to know but doesn't identify the denomination exactly, as there are lots of different flavours of Baptist. Their website probably identifies which association of Baptist churches they belong to, if any. Similarly for "Pentecostal".

If a church doesn't identify a denomination then it may be "non-denominational" which means it doesn't belong to any larger organization (though some non-denominational churches form themselves into groups). A church that calls itself "community church" or "Evangelical church" is often non-denominational.

Any church that doesn't identify as Catholic or Orthodox may usually be considered Protestant for practical purposes, although there are some churches that do not identify as any of those three.

  • It's probably too narrow to ask about one church. But as I say 'If a church doesn't identify a denomination then it may be "non-denominational" '. Commented May 30, 2020 at 0:03
  • What are challenges and benefits of becoming non-denominational?
    – Tim
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 0:06
  • That's probably more a question for chat. In any case it would need to be another question. Commented May 30, 2020 at 0:43

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