From Academic Kids

A synod (also known as a council) is a council of a church, usually a Christian church, convened to decide an issue of doctrine or administration. An ecumenical council is so named because it is a synod of the whole church (or, more accurately, of what those who call it consider to be the whole church.)

The word comes from the Greek "synodos" meaning assembly, and it is synonymous with the Latin word "concilium" - council. Originally synods were meetings of bishops, and is still used in that sense in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Sometimes the phrase general synod or general council refers to an ecumenical council. The word synod also refers to the standing council of high-ranking bishops governing some of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches.


Uses in different Communions

Roman Catholic and Orthodox usage

In the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, synods are composed of bishops. Power in the Roman Catholic Church is subordinate to that of the Pope.

Anglican usage

In the Anglican Communion, General Synods are elected by clergy and laity. In most Anglican churches, there is a geographical hierarchy of synods, with "General Synod" at the top; bishops, clergy and laity meet as "houses" within the synod.

Lutheran usage

In Lutheran traditions a synod can be either a local administrative region similar to a diocese, such as the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or denote an entire church body, such as the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. Sometimes the word is also used of the meeting of the priests of a diocese. In such case, the word carries no administrative meaning.

Presbyterian usage

In some Presbyterian polities of church, a synod is a level of administration between the general assembly and the local presbytery. This applies in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, Uniting Church in Australia, and the Presbyterian Church USA.

Some ecumenical synods of note

See also

de:Konzil fr:Concile es:El Sínodo de los Obispos nl:Synode pl:Synod sv:Synod


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools