Presbyterians are part of the Christian family that find themselves in the middle between independent Christian churches and Episcopal churches (ones with a single bishop).
Presbyterians have been around for 400 years, and were part of the Reformation movement that began in Germany, France, Switzerland, Ireland and Scotland.
We are a confessional church (we write statements of faith and compile them into a Book of Confessions). We are a constitutional church (we have a Book of Order with three sections: the Form of Government, the Directory for Worship, and the Rules of Discipline). We ordain ministers and lay people (called Elders or Deacons). And we are connected together in a national church that has several levels of governance.
Presbyterians emphasize the sovereignty of God, the sinfulness of human beings that leads us to entrust governance to groups rather than individuals, the saving work of Jesus Christ and the active presence of the Holy Spirit in everyday life.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with denominational offices in Louisville, Kentucky, has approximately 2.4 million members, 11,100 congregations and 14,000 ordained and active ministers.
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
(from PC USA Website)