An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Glossary of Terms

Easton, Burton Scott

(Dec. 4, 1877-Mar. 7, 1950). Seminary professor and NT scholar. He was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Easton studied first at the University of Göttingen in Germany. He subsequently received his B.S. in 1898 and his Ph.D. in 1901, both from the University of Pennsylvania. While teaching mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, 1901-1905, he studied […]

Easton, Diocese of

The General Convention of 1868 voted to divide the Diocese of Maryland and form a new diocese. The primary convention of the new diocese met at Christ Church, Easton, on Nov. 19-20, 1868, and adopted the name Diocese of Easton. On May 25, 1894, Trinity Church, Easton, was set apart as Trinity Cathedral.

Eastward Position

The posture of the presider who stands at the altar with his or her back to the people. In churches oriented with the altar at the east end, as was once customary, the presider would thus be facing east. The practice originated in Rome in the eighth or ninth century. It replaced the ancient westward […]

Eau Claire, Diocese of

The 1928 General Convention voted to create a new diocese from the dioceses of Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. The primary convention of the Diocese of Eau Claire was held at Christ Church, Eau Claire. It consists of the following counties: Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, […]


The term (Hebrew ebion, “poor”) refers to a sect of Jewish Christians who upheld the Jewish law and rejected Paul's teaching and ministry to the uncircumcised. They lived an ascetic, communal life east of the Jordan in the early centuries of the Christian era. They regarded Jesus as the Messiah who would come to establish […]

Ecce, Deus

Canticle based on Is 12:2-6, which celebrates the return of Israel from exile. It begins, “Surely it is God who saves me; I will trust in him and not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:1-6 presents two songs: Is 12:1-3 is a song of deliverance, and Is 12:4-6 is a song of thanksgiving. The canticle Ecce, Deus […]


The term is the Latin transliteration of the Greek ekklesia, which indicated a civic assembly. The word was derived from the Greek for “call out” or “summon,” so it was a “called assembly.” In biblical usage it meant the assembly called by God, the church. Because of the Incarnation, in which the Word of God […]


Of or pertaining to the church.


From the Greek ekklesia, “church,” and logia, “doctrine,” the term refers to the doctrine of the church. The Greek word ekklesia (from ek, “out of,” and kalein, “to call”) describes the church as those “called out” by God from worldly existence to a new life in Christ. The account of the origin of the church […]

Economic Trinity

See Trinity.

Ecuador, Central Diocese of

The House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Ecuador on Oct. 27, 1966. It became the Diocese of Ecuador on Jan. 1, 1980. The General Convention of 1985 voted to divide the Diocese of Ecuador and established the Central Diocese of Ecuador and the Litoral Diocese of Ecuador. The Central Diocese is the continuation […]

Ecuador, Litoral Diocese of

The House of Bishops established the Missionary District of Ecuador on Oct. 27, 1966. It became the Diocese of Ecuador on Jan. 1, 1980. The General Convention of 1985 voted to divide the Diocese of Ecuador and established the Central Diocese of Ecuador, which is the continuation of the Diocese of Ecuador, and the new […]

Ecumenical Bulletin

This journal began publication in Winter 1965/1966. It was originally published by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. After Mar./Apr. 1976, it was issued in cooperation with the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical Officers. The Handbook for Ecumenism, which was prepared by the Episcopal Diocesan Ecumenical Officers, was issued as a number of the Ecumenical Bulletin. […]

Ecumenical Councils

From NT times the church has relied on the decisions of councils called by recognized authority to settle disputes over doctrine and discipline. When a council involves representative bishops from the whole church, it is called "general." When the decisions of a council are recognized by the whole church, it is called "ecumenical" (from the […]

Ecumenical Movement

Inspired in part by the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (1880), the ecumenical movement was born at the International Missionary Conference of Edinburgh (1910) as a search for the reunion of Christians. Two organizations were formed: Life and Work, and Faith and Order, which joined together in 1948 as the World Council of Churches (WCC). The Anglican Communion […]

Ecumenical Theological Seminary

An association of schools, religious denominations, and other educational institutions. In the early 1950s, the Rev. Dr. Reuel Howe concluded from his years of teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary that clergy were not fully prepared in seminary for ministry. Using the new idea of continuing education for professionals, Howe founded the Institute for Advanced Pastoral […]

Ecumenical, Ecumenical Theology

The term is derived from the Greek oikoumen', “inhabited world.” Ecumenical refers to the wholeness of the church. Ecumenical theology is theology especially concerned to recover visible unity for the whole church in the world.


D(The Doctor of Education degree is for those persons who desire leadership positions in the field of education.

Edmund of East Anglia

(c. 840-Nov. 20, 870). Christian martyr and King of East Anglia. He became king at the age of fifteen. Edmund was subsequently defeated and captured by an army of invading Danes. The invaders offered to spare his life if he would share his kingdom with a Danish leader. As a Christian, Edmund refused to collaborate […]

Efficacious Grace

This is grace that accomplishes its intended result in the human soul, especially in terms of a saving work or salvation. The English reformers affirmed the efficacious nature of the sacraments, urging that they are not mere “badges or tokens of Christian men's profession,” but “they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace” […]

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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.