In provincial matters each province is independent, holds its own synods, makes its own laws, and elects its own governing board; but the General Synod meets, on the average, every ten years at Herrnhut, and its regulations are binding in all the provinces.
Consistories and synods have till near the end of the 18th century.
Bishops were often deposed by administrative order of the emperor; synods being expected afterwards to confirm, or rather accept, such order.
The cause of Ignatius and Photius was dealt with in the 9th century by various synods; those in the East agreeing with the emperor's view for the time being, while those in the West acted with the pope.
As neighbouring dioceses coalesced into " provinces " and provinces into larger districts (corresponding to the civil " dioceses " of the later Roman Empire), the provincial synods of bishops and the synods of the larger districts acquired a criminal jurisdiction, still purely spiritual, of their own.