What is Reformed Theology?

Reformed theology is generally considered synonymous with Calvinism and most often, in the U.S. and the UK, is specifically associated with the theology of the historic church confessions such as the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Three Forms of Unity.

What does it mean to be Reformed?

A summary of Reformed theology, or what it means to be Reformed, may be seen in the following:

  • It means to affirm the great “Solas” of the Reformation. (See the Five Solas)
  • It means to affirm and promote a profoundly high view of the sovereignty of God.
  • It means to affirm the doctrines of grace. . . to see God as the author of salvation from beginning to end. (See Calvinism)
  • It means to be creedal. . . to affirm the great creeds of the historic, orthodox church. (See e.g. the Nicene Creed)
  • It means to be confessional. . . to affirm one or more of the great confessions of the historic orthodox church. (see e.g. the Westminster Confession)
  • It means to be covenantal. . . to affirm the great covenants of Scripture and see those covenants as the means by which God interacts with and accomplishes His purposes in His creation, with mankind. (Covenant Theology)


  • R. C. Sproul, What is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Baker, 2005)
  • Donald McKim, The Westminster Handbook to Reformed Theology (Westminster John Knox Press, 2001)
  • David Wells, Reformed Theology in America: A History of Its Modern Development (Baker Academic, 1997)
  • Introduction to the Reformed Faith, by John Frame


Key Terms

  • Reformation theology
  • Reformed churches
  • Regulative principle (of Worship)
  • Calvinism
  • Protestant Reformation
  • Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics
  • Studies in Reformed Theology
  • Reformed Theology Resource Center
  • Institute for Reformed Theology
  • Reformed Theology (monergism.com)
  • A Puritan’s Mind
  • Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies
  • Sola Scriptura! A Reformed Theology Resource
  • Sovereignty of God
  • Calvinism
  • Total depravity
  • Unconditional election
  • Limited atonement
  • Irresistible grace
  • Perseverance of the saints
  • Predestination
  • Election
  • Providence of God
  • Foreknowledge of God
  • Decrees of God