Vision for Life Together
As a community of Christian education and formation, we are thankful for the provision of God’s good gifts granted in Jesus Christ and shared through his Holy Spirit. We take joy in the privilege that we as a seminary community have to participate in God’s kingdom work as servants of our Lord and his church. In the following affirmations we express our commitment to a common life made possible by the grace that has been shown to us by God in Christ. This life is not one we provide ourselves but is a gift that in its shape and contours is given and ordered by God’s revelation to us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in Holy Scripture. This great salvation establishes us in genuine freedom and calls us to grateful obedience under the Word of God. We thereby strive to live a life that honors God in our worship and spiritual devotion, in our communal and social relationships, and as embodied persons living within a good though fallen creation that longs for its full and final redemption.
We give thanks for the gift of the salvation that God has accomplished for us in Jesus Christ as witnessed and announced in Holy Scripture.
We give thanks for the relations we share with others as fellow Christians with whom we are called to confess a common faith.
- While we confess our own sin, we rejoice in the grace divinely given that is far greater than our sin.
- We affirm and embrace the new life of joy and freedom granted to us by God in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
- We strive to live lives of faithful and holy service to God and his kingdom as we commit ourselves to corporate worship, personal prayer and devotion, and faithful discipleship and service made meaningful and possible through the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- As a seminary community committed to the truth of the Gospel, we acknowledge that in Christ’s light, we see light, and we are called to reflect that light for the sake of the church and the world.
- We thus recognize our charge to give our best in our vocations as students and teachers of the Word.
- While we confess our own sinful susceptibility to unfaithfulness and rebellion, we rejoice in the greater faithfulness of God and the forgiveness and reconciliation given to us that establishes our unity in Christ.
- We affirm the church as the people of God, the body of Christ, and the fellowship of the Spirit established by divine call.
- We thereby gladly serve with others within churches that witness to the grace of God who loved the world so much that he gave his Son.
- We do so with a commitment to ministerial, moral, and personal integrity as men and women called of God to serve as pastors and ministers and in other vocations and capacities within our churches and in mission beyond them.
- As a seminary community we are called not to replace but to strengthen, serve, assist, and partner with the church in light of a larger common purpose, and we are entrusted to help and walk beside others as they seek to discern and follow the call of God upon their own lives.
We give thanks for the relations we share with others as neighbors with whom we are called to share a mutual love.
We give thanks for the relations we share with others as friends and family members with whom we are called to embrace a shared hope.
- While we confess our own selfish proclivity to alienation from and indifference toward other persons, we rejoice in the greater love of God and the mercy and hospitality that has been extended to us and that we are called to extend to others, as neighbors near and far.
- We affirm that as God has loved us, so we are to love others.
- As he has reconciled us to himself in Christ, so we also are to be agents of reconciliation to, for, and with others, showing genuine concern for them, for their welfare, for their good, and for their dignity and personhood, regardless of differences of sex, ethnicity, race, or nationality.
- We are to strive to live peaceably with all persons and to care especially for the weak, the poor, the downtrodden, the marginalized, and those deprived of justice.
- We aspire to show in our speech and action both charity and courteousness as we seek after the truth and spur one another on toward it.
- In this we are called to demonstrate care and gentleness in both encouragement and correction, in calls to holiness, accountability, and integrity, praying for and doing all that might allow the fruit of the Spirit to show forth in our lives.
We give thanks for our lives as embodied persons created by God and set in the context of a good created order longing for redemption.
- While we confess our brokenness and failures, we rejoice in the greater destiny prepared for us by God and the divine help and strength given to us so that we might now live in its light.
- We cherish the gift of deep friendships with others and respect them as persons made in the image of God and created for an eternal future.
- We thus affirm the gifts of singleness and marriage as distinct and complementary signs of the kingdom, the first as a sign of freedom for the Gospel and kingdom life, and the second as the mystery in which a husband and a wife become one flesh.
- This life-long union was pronounced as good by God at creation and as sacred by the Lord Jesus in the Gospels, and from this union children are received and welcomed into our world.
- We strive to commit ourselves to faithfulness and celibacy in singleness and to faithfulness and fidelity in marriage, recognizing marriage as the covenantal context in which the physical union of man and woman is divinely ordained and rightly expressed.
- In this recognition we are prayerfully called to assist each other, in humility, to accept, embrace, live out, and at times bear up under, these kingdom signs.
- While we confess our selfishness and irresponsibility, we rejoice in the greater abundance and providence of God.
- We affirm the goodness of creation and the world God’s hands have made that in the light of Christ still reflects the glory of God despite its frustrated and fallen state.
- We strive to live as those who take delight in the splendor and manifold wonders of the world, who work to preserve its beauty and integrity, who display a reverence for human life and respect for all life, and who live conscientiously in the civil contexts in which we find ourselves, while looking for a greater country where righteousness is at home, and for the day in which the world itself, as we ourselves, will be gloriously redeemed.
These affirmations are held not as a matter of forced subscription, but as an expression of our shared aspirations and commitments for a common life together.