Reflections on the Ethos of the Community of Christ Seminary
As a theological learning community:
Our principal task is to serve the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mission of the church, Christ’s body. Our mission is to equip persons to proclaim with power the matchless Christ and to promote authentic Christian discipleship and community. We prepare ministers, both full-time and bivocational, to effectively serve the cause of God’s reign (Zion, the peaceable kingdom), where peace, reconciliation, and healing of spirit embrace all.
We unapologetically promote the Christian Gospel and the ceaseless search for truth. We encourage theological exploration. We respect the great variety of theological, exegetical, and ethical positions within our denomination and in all of Christianity. We ask people to carefully listen to and consider all viewpoints, but we do not indoctrinate.
We are committed to excellence in all we do. We understand this within the holistic mission of theological education to mean that in all aspects of our task, we strive to offer a first-rate theological education. We will prioritize our efforts. We would rather do fewer things superbly well than perform more tasks in a mediocre fashion.
We embrace a holistic mission. We promote sound academics, spirituality, practical ministerial ability, a vibrant witness, prophetic action, stewardship, and the formation of Christian community. We believe these various dimensions are not in competition but complementary. We seek balance in life and acknowledge the importance of Sabbath times of rest and renewal. We are inspired by the monastic example of community that integrated times of prayer, study, fellowship, work, and rest.
We believe in collegiality and consultation. We stress team work. We strive to find the best ways to employ the gifts of each co-worker for the common benefit of the mission of the seminary. We pursue shared governance and broad-based dialogue about all the issues we face. We, therefore, seek to resist the top-down and individualistic strains of our contemporary culture. In all we do, we seek to build the requirements of authentic community, such as trust, respect, and mutual listening.
We honor seminarians as adult learners, partners in ministry, and full and equal members of the body of Christ. We respect the background that each person brings and are determined to learn from one another. We are one community--seminarians, staff, faculty, and trustees--of co-learners and co-teachers. We also promote life-long learning. We are more interested in mutual formation as ministers and learning disciples of the Lord Jesus than in providing a self-contained terminal educational experience.
We pursue a worldwide mission. We aim to be the seminary for the Community of Christ around the globe. In all that we do we seek to develop and offer planetary perspectives and to build transnational community. We promote and celebrate cultural diversity in all of its dimensions.
We affirm that we are an inclusive community. We consistently advocate for the complete equality and mutuality of men and women in the church. We welcome students from all cultures and languages. We resolutely and proactively oppose discrimination on the basis of creed, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, or class.
Our spirit is ecumenical and interfaith. Persons of any religious persuasion are most welcome. We constantly strive to create and maintain partnerships with other religious institutions and movements. We will assure that we are prepared for constructive and reconciling living in an increasingly pluralistic world.
We will exercise careful and just stewardship over our resources. We wish to provide for all that is needed to complete our mission while modeling simplicity and good stewardship in the pursuit of our goals. We will endeavor to make our educational offerings accessible and relevant to persons of all social and economic contexts.
While we must maintain the separation necessary for academic freedom and prophetic integrity, we pledge to work closely with the leaders of our sponsoring denomination and to be accountable to the membership of the church.
We will practice and promote constructive engagement with our specific traditions, both celebrating our heritage and raising critical questions. We also strive to be relevant to the world of the twenty-first century, which is marked by stark contrasts between wealth and poverty, globalization, religious and cultural pluralism, environmental concern, and post-modernism. We pledge that we will help our community of faith to wrestle with the challenging theological, scriptural, historical, and ethical issues confronting us at this time in our history.