• Latin: credere, to believe


A form of belief. Applied to the religious sphere, the term has two meanings. First, it signifies the entire body of beliefs held by the adherents of a given religion; thus it is synonymous with doctrine or objective faith, as when we refer to the “conflict, of creeds.” Second, in a more restricted sense, it denotes an authoritative summary of the principal articles of faith professed by a body of believers, as in the phrase “creeds of Christendom,” i.e., the symbols or formulations of the Christian faith as drawn up and accepted by the various Christian churches. Practically, a creed is a distinctive mark of those who adhere to a specific religious belief. Hence a “profession of faith” is required in connection with the administration of Baptism, and on certain other occasions. The principal creeds publicly used in the Catholic Church are the Apostles‘, Athanasian, and Nicene Creeds. Protestant formularies of faith are commonly designated “confessions of faith”.

MLA Citation

  • “creed”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 August 2013. Web. 21 September 2017. <>