It is a high honor and privilege to represent God to people by being in the ministry and training for ministry. When people see someone “in the ministry,” they see that person as representing Christ’s church. It is for this reason that the Bible outlines in 1 Timothy 3 some of the expectations and qualifications of a leader in the church. It is very important for each member of the seminary community (no matter what their position) to seek to live up to these standards (with God’s help and empowerment). Thus, we ask each member of the seminary community to covenant to lead a life that is “above reproach” as defined by the following Ethos Statement. The heart of this document is healthy community full of grace and truth (John 1:17).
As a member of the seminary community, I agree, with God’s help and empowerment, to live by the following ideals to the best of my ability:
- I will seek to walk with God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Genesis 5:22; John 17:3; Mark 12:29-31; Ephesians 2:8-9).
- I will seek to have no other gods than Jesus Christ (Exodus 20:3-6; 1 Peter 3:15). I will seek to keep myself from idolatry (1 John 5:21) by not making idols out of money, sex, power, people, material things, school, or ministry success.
- I will work as “unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:23-24). I will give God my best in my family, in my job performance and in my training for ministry.
- I will refrain from sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). If I am married, I will be faithful to my spouse (Exodus 20:14). If I am single, I will remain celibate in my singleness. I will not engage in homosexual practice (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
- I will refrain from drunkenness or the use of illegal drugs (Ephesians 5:18). I will not allow a substance to control me, rather I will seek to be controlled by God. If I choose to “drink socially,” I will do so in a way that does not cause other people to stumble (1 Corinthians 8).
- I will practice Biblical conflict resolution. If someone hurts or offends me, I will go to that person and speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15,25) and forgive them (Ephesians 4:32). If this does not resolve the issue, I will then involve a second person as prescribed in Matthew 18:15-17. I will not slander another person by talking negatively about him/her without him/her present (Ephesians 4:31). I will seek to build others up with my words (Ephesians 4:29). If I cannot bring resolution through these steps, I will seek counsel.
- I will be respectful of those in authority over me and submit to their leadership (Hebrews 13:17) unless they were to call me to do something contrary to Scripture (Acts 5:27-29). I will seek humbleness in my life (1 Peter 5:5-6).
The purpose of this Ethos Statement is order (1 Corinthians 14:40) and to uphold integrity, respect, honor and character (2 Timothy 2:20-22). There is plenty of grace in this community for mistakes (James 5:16), whereas there is not room in this community for blatant and unrepentant rebellion (1 Corinthians 5). I agree to do my best to live by this Ethos Statement with God’s help and power through Jesus Christ and for His glory.