Being a Salvationist

Our beliefs

The Doctrines of The Salvation Army

A Salvation Army officer preaching
Eleven statements that outline our Christian beliefs.

These statements are the Doctrines of The Salvation Army and form part of the Soldier's Covenant, the sacred commitment signed by soldiers of The Salvation Army.

The Doctrines of The Salvation Army

1. We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.

In other words: God helped and guided good people to speak and write what is in the Bible, so that from it we may learn the way God wants us to live and the things he wants us to believe.

2. We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.

3. We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.

4. We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.

In other words: There is only one God and he is altogether perfect in every way. He is the creator, preserver and ruler of all things. We should not worship anyone or anything else. The Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit are one God. Jesus is both truly God and truly human; he has both God’s nature and human nature.

5. We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.

In other words: Our first parents, by their disobedience, lost their awareness of God’s favour, and came under the power of sin; because of this we are all inclined to do wrong.

6. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.

In other words: On the cross Jesus suffered and died for the sins of everyone, so that whoever wants to may be saved.

7. We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit, are necessary to salvation.

8. We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.

In other words: To be saved we must be truly sorry for doing wrong and trust in Jesus; then the Holy Spirit will make us new people. Salvation is a free gift from God. It is received when we believe in Jesus; and when we are saved we know it and show it.

9. We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.

10. We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In other words: To stay saved we must trust in Jesus to help us, and we must go on doing as he wants us to do. Saved people are given the opportunity and responsibility to be used by God to help him. When they have given themselves to him fully, they can be given power to serve him, and be kept from sinning.

11. We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.

In other words: Death is swallowed up in victory; we ourselves go on living in a new and different way. At the end of the world Jesus will judge all people. Those who have chosen him to be their saviour will be happy to live with him as their King, for ever. Those who have not done so will always be unhappy because they chose what separates them from all that is good and lovely.

The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine

An in-depth study of our Doctrines.


The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine is also available to buy as a hard cover.

Discover more

Information and guidance about moral and social issues for members of The Salvation Army.

Learn more about soldiership, adherent membership and junior soldiership.

Learn more about our vision and mission priorities.

Everyone involved in The Salvation Army is encouraged to express our values.