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Using Personal Titles #11: Protestant Religious Titles, by Dennis Oliver


Using Personal Titles #10:
Protestant ReligiousTitles


Besides the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches,
there are also many Christian religious groups which are
often referred to as Protestant. Included in this category
are such churches as the Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists,
Presbyterians, Mormons, and many others.

In general, Protestant churches do not have an elaborate
organizational structure, so there are not many different
religious titles that are commonly used. Here are the most
common ones:

In speaking,

for . . .   use this title:
archbishops*   Your Grace

Your Grace

or (Methodist, Mormon)
Bishop (surname)

priests*   Father
Reverend (surname)*
ministers*   Reverend (surname)
Pastor (surname)
Brother (surname)
Sister (surname)
elders*   Elder (surname)
deacons*   Deacon (surname)
Brother (surname)
Mr. (surname)
deaconesses*   Deaconess (surname)
Sister (surname)
monks*   Brother (religious name)
nuns*   Sister (religious name)


In writing a letter,

for . . .   use this title:
archbishops*   The Most Reverend (name),
Archbishop of _____

The Right Reverend (name),
Bishop of _____

or (Methodist)

Reverend (name),
Methodist Bishop of _____

or (Mormon)

Bishop (name)

priests*   The Reverend (name)

The Reverend (name)

Pastor (name)

Brother (name)

Sister (name)

elders*   Elder (name)
deacons*   Deacon (name)
deaconesses*   Deaconess (name)
monks*   Brother (religious name)
nuns*   Sister (religious name)


In writing a letter,

for . . .   use this title:
archbishops*   Your Grace:

Your Grace:

or (Methodist, Mormon)
Dear Bishop (surname):


Reverend Father:
Dear Father (name):


Reverend (surname):
Dear Reverend (surname):


Dear Reverend (surname):

Dear Pastor (surname):

Dear Brother (surname):

Dear Sister (surname):

elders*   Dear Elder (surname):
deacons*   Dear Deacon (surname):
deaconesses*   Dear Deaconess (surname):
monks*   Dear Brother (religious name):
nuns*   Dear Sister (religious name):



Special Notes:

1.   The Protestant Episcopal (Anglican) Church uses
titles similar to those for the Roman Catholic
and Eastern Orthodox Churches for archbishops
and bishops. It also has archdeacons and other
religious offices.

The Protestant Episcopal (Anglican) Church
often uses the word priest for the religious
leader of local churches. Other Protestant
churches do not use this title. Some Episcopal
churches have women who are priests and
bishops. For woman priests, do not use the
title "Father." Instead, use the title Reverend
(plus a surname).

Most Protestant churches use the title Reverend
for their ministers, but Pastor is preferred
in some churches. These two titles can be used
for both men and women.

Some Protestant churches do not use the title
Reverend. Instead, they prefer Brother for
men and Sister for women.


The use of elder and deacon varies greatly
among the Protestant churches. There are no
general rules on how to use these titles correctly.

The title deaconess is not commonly used.

4.   In most Protestant churches, there are no monks
or nuns. They may be found, however, in the
Protestant Episcopal (Anglican) Church.
5.   Some Protestant churches use special titles (such as
Moderator, Overseer, Stated Clerk, Prophet,
Chief Pastor, President, etc.) that are not used
by other Protestant groups.


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