January 15, 2009

The Religious Affiliations of U.S. Presidents

Nearly half the nation’s presidents have been affiliated with the Episcopal or Presbyterian churches. John F. Kennedy remains the only Catholic to have held the nation’s highest office. Only three U.S. presidents — Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson — have been unaffiliated with a specific religious tradition.

Presidential chart
Sources:
Ronald Reagan: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library
All other presidents: Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia

1. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms as the 22nd and 24th president. He is only listed once in this chart.
2. President Barack Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for over 20 years before resigning his membership in 2008. The Obamas are currently searching for a new church in Washington, D.C. The United Church of Christ is part of the Congregationalist family of denominations within mainline Protestantism.