Beginning with Christ 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
       For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
               He is before all things,
                    and in him all things hold together. And
               He is the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
       For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Colossians 1:15-23

Common Mission

Everything exists 'from him', 'through him' and 'to him'.

So we want to support one another as we serve Christ with a twofold task, both: 

  • from Christ to our research: studying excellently with a Christian ethos and worldview, bringing the light of the gospel to bear in our work; and 
  • from our research to Christ: turning our expertise to worship and persuasive outreach, tracing how the signposts of our field help us point to the glory of God through Christ.
Our first orientation means that we are committed to scholarship for the good of God's creation, and engaging in it all the more effectively through the clarity provided by biblical lenses - seeing it as created, and fallen, but being redeemed through the work of God in history revealed in Scripture.

Our second orientation means that we want to verbalise creation's praises back to its Creator, and to draw as-yet-unbelievers with us. Here we seek to bring the contribution of our expertise to our evangelistic witness, helping to show how the nature of reality - including the questions, assumptions and history of our field - points to the relevance, plausibility and beauty of the gospel of Christ.

Common Doctrine

Our mission statement is framed around the gospel - both as it bears implications for our academic work, and as we bring acceptable worship to God through Christ, including our public witness and evangelism. Inevitably, clarity on our mission together requires clarity on the gospel - in which we want to continue 'established and firm' (Colossians 1:23).

So we want to pursue our shared mission together from a position of generous, humble confidence in the historic truths of biblical Christianity as summarised in the IFES doctrinal statement, placing us within a classical Protestant evangelical tradition. 

Common Ethos

We want to pursue our mission together in a humble way that reflects the deep connection between our relationship with God and our relationship with knowledge. 

  • As all knowledge is from God, we work together with open hearts and open Bibles; 
  • As all knowledge is for God, we submit our knowledge to the service of love.

This humility will shape how we listen and how we speak, protecting our unity. It makes us distinctive from the spirit of the age in which 'knowledge puffs up' (1 Corinthians 8:1) and where our own minds used to be at enmity with God (Colossians 1:21). Instead we follow Christ who is gentle and humble in heart even alongside his perfect knowledge of the Father (Matthew 11:25-30).

As we seek to integrate what we learn through God's good-but-fallen world and what we learn through his Word, we recognise that we may experience apparent tensions. In humility we won't rush to conclusions, nor will we 'judge' one another or hold one another in 'contempt' (Romans 14:3). Instead, in love, we will celebrate one another's affirmation of our shared faith - including the supreme authority of Scripture for the pursuit of truth - and as we spur each other on in this task we will respect the way that each of us handles our own knowledge as a personal act of worship to God (Romans 14:4-15).

Good News for the University 
IFES Europe's Postgraduate Initiative