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'''Ecumenical creeds''' is an [[umbrella term]] used in [[Lutheranism|Lutheran tradition]] to refer to three [[creed]]s: the [[Nicene Creed]], the [[Apostles' Creed]] and the [[Athanasian Creed]]. These creeds are also known as the catholic or universal creeds.<ref name=Concord>{{cite web|title=The Three Ecumenical Creeds - Book of Concord|url=||publisher=KNF & Associates|accessdate=3 April 2017}}</ref><ref name=ELCA>{{cite web|title=Scriptures, Creeds, Confessions|url=||publisher=Evangelical Lutheran Church in America|accessdate=3 April 2017|language=en}}</ref>
These creeds are accepted by almost all mainstream [[Christian denominations]] in the West, including Lutheran, [[Calvinism|Reformed]], [[Catholic Church|Catholic]], and [[Anglicanism|Anglican]].<ref name=Concord/><ref name=ELCA/><ref>{{cite web|last1=Fongemie|first1=Pauly|title=Three Catholic Creeds|url=||publisher=Catholic Tradition|accessdate=3 April 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Creeds and Authorized Affirmations of Faith|url=||publisher=Church of England|accessdate=3 April 2017|language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Creeds and Confessions|url=||publisher=Reformed Church in America|accessdate=3 April 2017|language=en}}</ref> Many [[Methodism|Methodist]] churches accept the Nicene Creed and Apostles' Creed.<ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Is the United Methodist Church a Creedal Church? by G. Richard Jansen |publisher=Colorado State University |accessdate=2007-06-24 |url-status=dead |archiveurl= |archivedate=2007-10-20 }}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=Guiding Theological Principles {{!}} The World Methodist Conference|url=||accessdate=3 April 2017}}</ref>
The [[Eastern Orthodox Church]] accepts the Nicene Creed,<ref>{{cite web|title=The Nicene Creed|url=||accessdate=3 April 2017}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|title=The Nicene Creed - Personal and Devotional Prayers - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America|url=||publisher=Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America|accessdate=3 April 2017}}</ref> but does not use the Apostles' Creed or the Athanasian Creed.
A creed by definition is a summary or statement of what one believes. It originates from the Latin ''[[credo]]'' meaning "I believe".<ref>{{cite web|title=creed - definition of creed in English|url=|website=Oxford Dictionaries |language=English|accessdate=3 April 2017}}</ref> The purpose of a creed is to act as a yardstick of correct belief.<ref>{{cite web|last1=Meager|first1=David|title=A brief history of the three creeds|url=|publisher=Cross†Way - Church Society|accessdate=3 April 2017|date=2004}}</ref> A creed is an epitome, not a full definition, of what is required for [[orthodoxy]]. It was hoped that by memorizing this summary of the faith, lay people without extensive theological training would still be able to recognize deviations from orthodox doctrines based on the [[Bible]] as interpreted in [[Christian tradition]].
The term ''[[ecumenical]]''<ref>{{cite web|title=ecumenical - definition of ecumenical in English|url=|website=Oxford Dictionaries|accessdate=3 April 2017|language=English}}</ref> can refer to efforts by Christians of different church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings. The term is also often used to refer to efforts towards the visible and organic unity of different Christian churches in some form.<ref>{{cite book|last1=FitzGerald|first1=Thomas E.|title=The Ecumenical Movement: An Introductory History|date=2004|publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group|isbn=9780313306068|url=|accessdate=3 April 2017|language=en}}</ref>
==See also==