Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
(Ecclesiastical Terms) the belief that a Church should be governed by bishops
e•pis•co•pal•ism(ɪˈpɪs kə pəˌlɪz əm)
the theory of church polity according to which the supreme authority is vested in the episcopal order as a whole, and not in any individual.
a theory of church polity asserting that supreme ecclesiastical authority belongs to all bishops collectively and not to an individual except by delegation.See also: Protestantism