What does Oneness Pentecostal teach?

Oneness Pentecostal people are many and varied.  The two main groups that hold to Oneness theology are the United Pentecostal Church International (the largest) and the United Apostolic Church.  There are others like the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible Way Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ as well as a host of independent Oneness churches scattered throughout the United States.

The following points of doctrine are generally held to by the Oneness Pentecostal groups.

Within Orthodoxy

  1. There is only one God in all existence.
  2. The Bible is God's inerrant word.
  3. Jesus was born of a virgin.
  4. Jesus had two natures.
  5. Justification by faith.
  6. Baptism must be by immersion.1
  7. The elements of communion are bread and wine and are only for believers.
  8. Foot-washing (John 13:4-5) is a divine institution to be practiced by church members.2
  9. Abstain from joining secret societies (James 5:12; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
  10. There will be a future rapture of the Church where the Christians will be transformed (1 Thess. 4:13-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; Phil. 3:20-21).

Outside of Orthodoxy

  1. Denies the doctrine of the Trinity.
  2. Denies justification by faith alone by stating that baptism is also required for salvation.
  3. Jesus is God the Father.
  4. Jesus is the Holy Spirit.
  5. The name of God is "Jesus."
  6. Baptism is necessary for salvation.
  7. Denies pre-existence of the Word as the Son. Teaches that the He existed as the Father.
  8. Being born again means repentance, baptism, and speaking in tongues.
  9. Baptism must be administered by an ordained Oneness minister to be valid.
  10. Baptism must be administered with the phrase, "In the name of Jesus" instead of the phrase, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit," (Matt. 28:19).
  11. Speaking in tongues is a necessary requirement to demonstrate that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit and is, therefore, saved.  It is claimed to be the initial sign of the infilling of the Holy Ghost.
  12. Restitution of all things though the devil and the angels will not be restored.
  13. Women may be pastors.3
  14. Only Oneness people will go to heaven.



  • 1. Orthodoxy allows for sprinkling as well.
  • 2. Many Christian churches practice foot-washing.  But it is not a required practice according to the Bible.
  • 3. Many Oneness people deny that women can be pastors, but the UPCI (United Pentecostal Church International) does not.  Also, there are many Trinitarian churches that practice women ordination and eldership.  But generally speaking, women are not to hold these positions.  If you are interested in more on this issue, please see Can women be pastors and elders?

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.