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Mission and Academic Creed

Mission Statement

The Institute for Christian Studies is an interdisciplinary graduate school where:

  • the gospel's message of renewal shapes our pursuit of wisdom;
  • scholars focus on the intersection of Reformational philosophy and contemporary scholarship and society.

Academic Creed

The following Educational Creed is part of the Basis Statement created by the Association for the Advancement of Christian Scholarship in the late 1950's. As such, it is part of ICS' bylaws and serves as a confessional statement for ICS.

Believing that Scripture reveals certain basic principles intensely relevant to education, we confess:

  • Life: that human life in its entirety is religion. Consequently, scholarly study unfolds itself as service either of the one true God or of an idol.
  • Scripture: that Scripture, the Word of God written, in instructing us of God, ourselves and the structure of creation, is that integral and active divine Word or Power by which God, through his Spirit, attaches us to and enlightens us in the Truth, which is Christ.
  • Christ: that the Christ of the Scriptures, the Word of God incarnate, is the Redeemer and Renewer of our life in its entirety and therefore also of our theoretical thought.
  • Reality: that the essence or heart of all created reality is the covenantal communion of human beings with God in Christ.
  • Knowledge: that true knowledge is made possible by true religion and arises from the knowing activity of the human heart enlightened through the Word of God by the Holy Spirit. Thus religion plays its decisive ordering role in the understanding of our everyday experience and our theoretical pursuits.
  • Scholarship:
    1. that the diligent pursuit of theoretical thought in a community of scholars is essential to the obedient and thankful response of God's people to the cultural mandate. The task of the scholar is to give a scientific account of the structure of creation and thereby promote a more effective ordering of the everyday experience of the entire community.
    2. that because of God's gracious preservation of creation after the fall, those who reject the Word of God as the ordering principle of life provide many valuable insights into the common structure of reality; nevertheless, the central religious antithesis of direction in life remains. We therefore reject the possibility of the synthesis of scripturally-directed thought with any other system of thought.
  • Academic Freedom: that scholarly pursuits are to be undertaken in the God-given freedom of a complete and voluntary submission to the Word of God and the divine laws that govern human life. The responsible freedom of the scholar must be protected against any constraint or domination of the church, state, industry or other societal structure.
  • Summary: that all scholarship pursued in faithful obedience to the divine mandate will heed the normative direction of God's Word, will acknowledge his Law to which creation in all its spheres is subject, and will bow before Christ's Kingship over all scientific work.