The Eastern Orthodox Church considers itself to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ and his Apostles almost 2,000 years ago. The Church is composed of several self-governing ecclesial bodies, each geographically and nationally distinct but theologically unified. Each self-governing body, often but not always encompassing a nation, is shepherded by a synod of bishops whose duty, among other things, is to preserve and teach the Apostolic and patristic traditions and related church practices.
- Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are three distinct, divine persons who share one divine essence. They are uncreated, immaterial, and eternal.
- Sin: Originally man was made to be the created image of God, to live in union with God's divine life, and to rule over all creation. Man's failure in this task is his sin, his fall. The "fall" of man means that man failed in his God-given vocation.
- Incarnation: Jesus of Nazareth is God, or, more accurately, the divine Son of God in human flesh. He is a true man in every way.