Original Research

Die Ned. Geref. Kerkorde 1962 en Sinodes: Die Dordtse Kerkorde aangepas by die eise van ons dag?

Piet J. Strauss
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 41, No 1 | a2107 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v41i1.2107 | © 2020 Piet J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 April 2020 | Published: 04 November 2020

About the author(s)

Piet J. Strauss, Department of Historical and Constructive Theology, Faculty of Theology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


The church order of the Dutch Reformed Church 1962 and synods: The church order of Dordrecht adapted to our day? After the completion of their concept of the first church order for the whole Dutch Reformed Church (DRC), an order which was accepted by the first general synod of the DRC in 1962, one of the members of the drawing committee, J.D. Vorster, declared that this concept was a modern example of the church order of the Synod of Dordrecht in 1619 in the Netherlands: an order for modern times. The DRC all along associated with this synod in its acceptance of the Three Formulas of Unity as confessions of faith, and now wanted to extend this to its church order. An investigation into the articles or ruling of the DRC church order of 1962 on the existence and functioning of synods in the DRC shows that it was not totally in line with that of Dordtrecht. Apart from some issues on the agenda of the synods that constituted the general synod, as well as some points for the agenda of the general synod, the church order of the DRC took its own direction. In determining the delegation and agendas of synods, the church order of the DRC followed principles foreign to a reformed church polity. A reformation of these structures in our day will benefit the whole DRC: from the congregations to major assemblies.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article concentrates on church polity and the development of a church order in a reformed way – especially on the theme of assemblies in church. It also needs and stimulates the knowledge of general history and church history for a reformed church in South Africa which has ties with the reformed churches in the Netherlands.


unique task of major assemblies; no duplication of synods in denomination; synods handle common affairs of congregations; church order of DRC influenced by church order of Dordt


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