A term with three distinct meanings in United Methodism. First, early Methodists acquired a reputation for having strict patterns and rules for regulating their daily and spiritual lives. This "discipline" became characteristic of the movement in its early years in England and the United States. This is outlined in the General Rules. Second, the word relates to the constancy of practice and organizational form that has been maintained through the years. The denomination often describes itself as one under the guidance and discipline of its sense of personal requirements and organizational rules. Third, The Discipline is the shortened, commonly used name for the book containing the law, doctrine, administrative, and organizational guidelines for denomination.
Source: A Dictionary for United Methodists, Alan K. Waltz, Copyright 1991, Abingdon Press. Used by permission.