The beliefs of Catholics are Catholicism; the beliefs of Lutherans are Lutheranism; the beliefs of Presbyterians are Presbyterianism; etc. What about the beliefs of Baptists? It "should" be "Baptism," but that would be confusing. "Baptistism" is more understandable, but sounds wrong ("-ist" changes to "-ism"; they aren't normally combined).

  • 3
    Normally just "Baptist".
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 4:38
  • So "Presbyterianism and Baptist are the largest denominations in [area]"?
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 4:39
  • No, that's not grammatical. Presbyterianism is the noun for the movement, but not the name of a denomination, which would just be Presbyterian (Church). And to refer to the Baptist denomination, you'd usually say "The Baptists".
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 5:13
  • 2
    @curiousdannii so "The Baptists and Presbyterians are the largest denominations in [area]"? That definitely sounds better.
    – Someone
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 5:14
  • 1
    Baptists and Presbyterians are easy. What does one call "Church of God"ers? Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


Since one of the most visible characteristic of a Baptist church is adult baptism (instead of baby baptism in some Reformed churches), a word for the beliefs of Baptists would be "Credobaptism" or Believer's baptism.

If you can do with two words, you can use "Baptist beliefs", which more explicitly include other Baptist-specific doctrines. The Wikipedia article includes an acrostic BAPTIST:

  • Biblical authority (Matt 24:35; 1Pet 1:23; 2Tim 3:16–3:17)
  • Autonomy of the local church (Matt 18:15–18:17; 1Cor 6:1–6:3)
  • Priesthood of all believers (1Pet 2:5–2:9; 1Tim 2:5)
  • Two ordinances (believer's baptism and the Lord's Supper) (Acts 2:41–2:47; 1Cor 11:23–11:32)
  • Individual soul liberty (Rom 14:5–14:12)
  • Saved and baptized church membership (Acts 2:41–2:47; 1Cor 12:12; 2Cor 6:14; Eph 4:3)
  • Two offices of the church (elder and deacon) (1Tim 3:1–3:13)

I frequently use the word “Baptistism”, which is a bit of an etymological perversion, but fills the gap left in the language. Anyone who hears me use it understands perfectly what I mean, and I have heard it used at my seminary unprompted. It’s a rare term but it exists and is generally accepted.

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    – agarza
    Commented Nov 5, 2023 at 22:21

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