What is a Lutheran?

(Who are we?

As one of the oldest Protestant denominations, Lutheranism traces its core beliefs and practices back to the principles of Martin Luther, a German friar in the Augustinian order known as the "Father of the Reformation." Luther's major departures from Roman Catholic doctrine were based on these beliefs:

  • Baptism - Although Luther retained that Baptism was necessary for spiritual regeneration, no specific form was stipulated. Today Lutherans practice both infant baptism and baptism of believing adults.

  • Individual Access to God - Luther believed that each individual has the right to reach God through Scripture with responsibility to God alone. It is not necessary for a priest to mediate.

  • The Lord's Supper - Luther also retained the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, but the doctrine of transubstantiation was rejected.