Christian Science Denomination

Profile of the Church of Christ, Scientist

First Church of Christ Scientist
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The Church of Christ, Scientist, commonly known as the Christian Science Church, teaches a system of spiritual principles to restore health.

Number of Worldwide Members:

The Christian Science Church Manual (Article VIII, Section 28) instructs members not to divulge for publication the number of members of the Mother Church or its branches, in accordance with a Scripture passage on not numbering the people.

  Unofficial estimates number worldwide believers between 100,000 to 420,000.

Christian Science Church Founding:

Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910) founded the Church of Christ, Scientist in 1879 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  Eddy wanted the healing work of Jesus Christ to be better understood and more universally practiced.  The First Church of Christ, Scientist, or Mother Church, is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

After a spiritual healing at age 44, Eddy began studying the Bible intensively to determine how she had been healed.  Her conclusions led her to a system of healing others that she called Christian Science.  She wrote extensively.  Among her accomplishments was the founding of The Christian Science Monitor, an international newspaper which has won seven Pulitzer Prizes to date.

Prominent Founder:

Mary Baker Eddy

Geography:

More than 1,700 branches of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, can be found in 80 countries worldwide.

Christian Science Church Governing Body:

Local branches are governed democratically, while the Mother Church in Boston is run by a five-person Board of Directors.  The Board’s duties include supervising the international Board of Lectureship, a Board of Education, Church membership, and publishing Mary Baker Eddy’s writings.

  Local churches receive direction from the 100-page Church Manual, which outlines Eddy’s views of living by the Golden Rule and minimizing human organization.

Sacred or Distinguishing Texts:

The Bible, Science, and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, The Church Manual.

Notable Christian Scientists:

Mary Baker Eddy, Danielle Steele, Richard Bach, Val Kilmer, Ellen DeGeneres, Robin Williams, Robert Duvall, Bruce Hornsby, Mike Nesmith, Jim Henson, Alan Shepherd, Milton Berle, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Gene Autry, Frank Capra, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman.

Beliefs and Practices:

The Christian Science Church teaches that its system of spiritual principles can bring a person into alignment with God.  The religion has practitioners, men, and women who complete special training in spiritual principles and applied prayer.  Its belief is not faith healing but rather a way to replace the patient’s incorrect thinking with correct thinking.  Christian Science does not recognize germs or illness.  In recent years the Christian Science Church has moderated its views on medical treatment.  Members are free to choose conventional medical care if they wish.

The religion considers the Ten Commandments and Jesus Christ’s Sermon on the Mount as core guides to Christian living.



Christian Science differentiates itself from other Christian denominations by teaching that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah but was not a deity.  They do not believe in heaven and hell as places in the afterlife but as states of mind.

For more about what Christian Scientists believe, visit Christian Science Church Beliefs and Practices.

Christian Science Church Resources:

Christian Science Church Basic Teachings
More Christian Science Resources

(Sources: Christian Science Church Official Website, Church Manual, adherents.com, and The New York Times.)

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Zavada, Jack. "Christian Science Denomination." ThoughtCo, Mar. 14, 2017, thoughtco.com/christian-science-denomination-700529. Zavada, Jack. (2017, March 14). Christian Science Denomination. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/christian-science-denomination-700529 Zavada, Jack. "Christian Science Denomination." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/christian-science-denomination-700529 (accessed May 21, 2018).