Ethos Statement Based on the Serampore Covenant
We, the trustees, administration, faculty, staff and students embrace global service in the mission of God as an evangelical community that stands within the tradition of Christian orthodoxy and pledge our energies and resources to furthering the kingdom of God across the world.
We gladly take up the mantle of the early missionary pioneer, William Carey, a shoemaker, called to serve in the mission of God in the world, who, together with his colleagues drafted the Serampore Covenant to guide the development of their Christian mission in 1805 Serampore, India. We covenant together to embrace ways of living in keeping with the spirit and intent of this missionary document:
- By placing great value on all people because every person is of infinite value
- By building relationships with one another and with those whom we are called to minister in order to better understand their point of view
- By abstaining from those attitudes and actions that could become a stumbling block to another believer or a non-Christian in their spiritual journey
- By watching for opportunities to serve the needs of others
- By focusing our lives and ministries on the person and work of Christ
- By esteeming others better than ourselves and treating others fairly and justly
- By building up one another in the faith
- By equipping others to serve in the mission of God
- By customizing our missional approaches within the cultural context in which we do ministry
- By devoting ourselves to prayer and personal devotion to Christ
We are committed to a community that practices the truths revealed in the Scripture as imparted by the Holy Spirit. Thus we are committed to speaking the truth in love, sharing one another’s burdens, bearing with one another, and serving one another with kindness, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. We will practice speech that fosters forbearance and respect for one another and for the standards and policies of Missional University. We will affirm the breadth of views and perspectives that reflects the diversity of our Christian community while also exercising discernment guided by the law of love.
We at Missional University pledge to follow the path God has laid before us by committing to continually grow in our faith and to seek mutual relationships of accountability with fellow believers so that we may grow together in maturity and in the kind of faith, hope and love that reflect the mind and likeness of Jesus Christ. By the Spirit’s power, we will also seek to be witnesses to God’s Kingdom and to embody Scriptural ways of proclaiming and participating in God’s mission in our context and beyond.
APPLICATION OF WILLIAM CAREY'S MISSIONARY GUIDELINES AS A COMMUNITY:
This ethos statement orients our community life toward a common cause – preparing biblically - grounded, missional leaders who join the mission of God in diverse communities by incarnating the gospel with culturally-appropriate ministry skills while seeking the spiritual transformation of people and communities that connects all peoples to God in worship in their own heart language.
For this reason, concerns regarding particular speech and behavior will be assessed in light of the mission, faith and ethos statements of our community. To this end, we commit ourselves to seek wisdom and discernment through the study of Scripture and participation in dialogue based on grace, common worship and biblical conversation. For the common good of the Missional University community, we offer the following guidance:
- We stand with Christians through the centuries against the misuse of any substance that abuses the mind or body and brings harm to self, family or society.
- We affirm the need for stewardship and care in every area of life including our minds, physical bodies, our time, talents, and treasure as expressions of God’s common grace.
- We commit ourselves to fidelity in Christian marriage which we affirm is a sacred union between one man and one woman; and we commit ourselves to practicing celibacy in singleness.
- We condemn harassment or abuse in any form
- We renounce those attitudes and actions that resist the work of the Spirit, that create disharmony and division among the Christian community, and impede gospel-centered witness
- We commit ourselves to life and ministry siding with the poor while simultaneously resisting the temptations of materialistic culture
- We oppose utilitarian methods that commercializes the faith, mission and the church and embodies the values of consumerism
- We foster missional relationships that honor and uphold the sanctity of creation, human and family life, and the equality of women and men.
This commitment also includes the practice of Christian hospitality and an ongoing practice of learning and growing, characterized by relationships of mutual trust and respect. We acknowledge our need to be constant in respecting, encouraging, honoring each other and, when called for, speaking the truth in love to one another. We encourage repentance, confession, and correction as well as pardon and the opportunity for new beginnings when breaches of this covenant may occur.
Soli Deo Gloria!