An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Perry, William Stevens

(Jan. 22, 1832-May 13, 1898). Bishop and church historian. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island. Perry graduated from Harvard College in 1854 and then studied for a while at […]

Personal Profile

See CDO Personal Profile.

Peter, Saint

(d. c. 64). Apostle and leader of the early church. He was first named Simon, but Jesus named him Cephas, or Peter, which means “rock.” He was also known as […]

Peters, John Punnet

(Dec. 16, 1852-Nov. 10, 1921). Leading biblical and archeological scholar. He was born in New York City. He received his B.A. from Yale in 1873 and his Ph.D. from Yale […]


The form of prayer in which one asks God for divine grace or assistance. Petition addresses God as divine Providence who lovingly watches over the needs of human creatures. It […]

Pettigrew, Charles

(Mar. 20, 1744-Apr. 8, 1807). First priest elected to serve as Bishop of North Carolina and a leading eighteenth-century evangelical. He was born near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Pettigrew moved to Virginia […]


A long bench, typically with a back, for congregational seating in church. Seats were not provided for the congregation in the early church, and this practice continues today in the […]

Pew Rents

The renting of pews was the primary way that churches in many denominations collected funds prior to the twentieth century. Most of the time families were seated in separate pews. […]

Ph D.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree. A Ph.D. in theology does not necessarily presuppose a first theological degree and is to equip persons for teaching and research in theological seminaries, colleges, […]

Philadelphia Divinity School

This school was founded in 1857 by Bishop Alonzo Potter of Pennsylvania. On June 6, 1974, it merged with the Episcopal Theological School at Cambridge, Massachusetts, to create the Episcopal […]

Philadelphia Eleven, The

The eleven women who were ordained priests at the Church of the Advocate, Philadelphia, on the feast of St. Mary and St. Martha, July 29, 1974, two years before General […]

Philadelphia Recorder

See Episcopal Recorder, The.

Philip, Saint

One of the twelve apostles. Philip was from Bethsaida in Galilee. He seems to have belonged to a small group who were under the influence of John the Baptist. In […]

Philippine Independent Church

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1901, a number of Roman Catholic clergy in the Philippines wanted to be independent of the Roman Catholic bishops of Spain. On […]

Philippines, Diocese of the

The 1901 General Convention established the Missionary District of the Philippines, sometimes called the Philippine Islands. In 1972 it became the Missionary Diocese of the Philippines. The Cathedral Church of […]

Phos hilaron

The traditional candle-lighting hymn, which begins “O gracious Light, pure brightness of the ever living Father in heaven.” It appears in the BCP at Evening Prayer before the selection from […]


The principle of autonomy for national churches in Eastern Orthodoxy. It arose after the destruction of Constantinople in 1453 and gave autonomy to the various churches of the Byzantine Rite. […]

Piccard, Jeanette Ridlon

(Jan. 5, 1895-May 17, 1981). First woman ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. She was born in Chicago. Piccard received her B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Bryn Mawr College […]

Pike, James Albert

(Feb. 14, 1913-c. Sept. 3-7, 1969). Controversial theologian and bishop. He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Pike received his B.A. in 1934 and his LL.B. in 1936, both from […]


A pilgrim is one who goes on a pilgrimage or journey with a religious or devotional intention. See Pilgrimage.

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Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.