What is Christian Science?

Christian Science was discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy. It is based on the life and healings of Christ Jesus in the Bible. The teachings of Christian Science are available in a book titled Science and Health with Key to the Scripture written by Eddy. A brochure, available in many languages, called “What is Christian Science?” can be found here.

Is the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, more important than the Bible?

No! Everything in Christian Science is based on Biblical scripture. The Bible is read in every church service. The Pastor of Christian Scientists is the Bible and Science and Health.

Do Christian Scientists go to doctors?

Each individual, in each situation, is free to choose to rely on Christian Science or the medical community. However, given how effective prayer in Christian Science is and an individual’s prior healings, the choice to not go to a doctor is made frequently.

Relying on prayer in Christian Science is not “doing nothing.” See next question for more details on this topic.

Does healing really happen in Christian Science?

Click here to read an article on this topic titled, “The fact of healing in Christian Scientists’ experience” from March 2017.

Can Christian Science be described as faith healing, New Age, positive thinking or self-help?

No, definitely not. Additional information that relates to this question is available in these articles.

Is Christian Science the same as Scientology?

Not at all. Christian Science is a Christian denomination with the Bible as its foundation. This church has existed for almost 140 years.

How do young adults view Christian Science?

An excellent article was written for a Christian Science Organization (CSO) at Northwestern University. It contains a college student’s perspective on some FAQs. You can access it by clicking on its title, Common Misconceptions About Christian Science, Answered written by William Whittenbury. Thanks, William, for sharing this!

I've heard that Christian Science is a cult?
Is that true?

No. It is a Christian denomination with no worship of personality or individuals. Christian Scientists follow the words and teachings of Jesus Christ in all aspects of their lives. Each branch church, which is what the Jamestown church is, runs as a democracy with all members involved in decisions.

Who is Mary Baker Eddy?

Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science and founded the denomination. She published many books, including the book titled Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

 More information is available on this website here

Do Christian Scientists worship Mary Baker Eddy?

No. Although Eddy is considered to be the discoverer, founder and leader of Christian Science, there is no worship of her as an individual. In fact Eddy said,

It does not follow that power must mature into oppression; indeed, right is the only real potency; and the only true ambition is to serve God and to help the race. Envy is the atmosphere of hell. According to Holy Writ, the first lie and leap into perdition began with “Believe in me.” Competition in commerce, deceit in councils, dishonor in nations, dishonesty in trusts, begin with “Who shall be greatest?” I again repeat, Follow your Leader, only so far as she follows Christ.

Prose Works – Message ’02 pg 3:26   by Mary Baker Eddy

How is the church governed?

The headquarters of the denomination is The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, MA, commonly called The Mother Church (TMC). TMC is governed by its Board of Directors, which follows the rules and by-laws in the church Manual written by Mary Baker Eddy. TMC is in charge of church-wide issues around the world and gives advice to branch churches.

This Jamestown church is a branch of TMC. It is democratically led by its Board of Trustees, which is elected by all church members. Branch churches also follow the church Manual. Each branch handles its own specific procedures such as when the church services are held and  Reading Room hours.

How did Christian Science get started?

The early history of Christian Science is tied to the life of Mary Baker Eddy. 

The Mary Baker Eddy Library was created with many resources to help answer this question and more.  One of Eddy’s major accomplishments was writing the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She also founded a worldwide church and established a publishing company for its many publications including the Christian Science Monitor newspaper, which has received seven Pulitzer Prizes. Details of these accomplishments can be found here.


Why are "Christian" and "Science" combined in the name of the denomination?

Let’s take a look at some dictionary definitions from Merriam-Webster.com. The first definition of “Christian” states it is, “one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.” The words and works of Jesus Christ are at the heart of the teachings of Christian Science. The textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures contains many hundreds of references to the Christ. At every Sunday and Wednesday church service there are readings from the Scriptures, many of them based on the words and works of Jesus. Here is one example:

Our Master taught his disciples one brief prayer, which we name after him the Lord’s Prayer. Our Master said, “After this manner therefore pray ye,” and then he gave that prayer which covers all human needs.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p.16   by Mary Baker Eddy

As for the explanation of the use of the word “Science,” Merriam-Webster.com is also helpful here. There are several definitions that are applicable to the use of the word in Christian Science:

“1    : the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding.
2b : something that may be studied or learned
3a : a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws
4   : a system or method reconciling practical ends with scientific laws”

In Latin the word rendered disciple signifies student; and the word indicates that the power of healing was not a supernatural gift to those learners, but the result of their cultivated spiritual understanding of the divine Science, which their Master demonstrated by healing the sick and sinning.

Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 271   by Mary Baker Eddy

A more complete explanation of beliefs and teachings is available here.

Further information

Read Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures online.
Check out ChristianScience.com.

Visit the Jamestown Christian Science Reading Room.
If you’re not in the Jamestown, NY area, find a Reading Room near you.

Attend a Jamestown church service.
If you’re not in the Jamestown, NY area, find out about services in other churches or online here.

Contact a Christian Science practitioner.