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Welcome to the ACU Graduate School of Theology
H. Richard Niebuhr in The Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry (pg. 64) describes the call to ministry as having four elements: (1) the call to be a Christian; (2) an inner persuasion of one's heart; (3) natural abilities, talents, and skills; and (4) the summons of the church. In order to prepare people for ministry so that they are ready to respond to the invitation of churches, mission fields, parachurch ministries, and other grand opportunities the GST focuses on men and women who exhibit faithful discipleship and passion. The GST aims to facilitate the talents and skills of students' call by equipping them in their personal and professional identity formation. As students participate in various areas of study in Bible, theology, church history, and the practices of ministry, they will engage in critical, formational, communal, and public activities all for the glory of God.
The GST mission is to equip men and women for effective missional leadership for ministry in all its forms and to provide strong academic foundations for theological inquiry. We intend our mission statement to reflect our commitment to foster students' desire to minister to congregations, to initiate new ministries, to participate in public service, and to serve the academy all for the sake of the world. The GST strives to fulfill this grand vision by being attentive to the following overarching principles:
- Spiritual Life: Students will pursue a life within God, yielding to God's will as they display transparency and integrity before God and others. They will cultivate disciplined habits that enable the godly transformation of thought, character, behavior, and relationship. And they will welcome opportunities to grow and work diligently as they pay attention to the rhythms of their spiritual life.
- Wisdom: Students will seek and practice the skills and intellectual virtues necessary for disciplined, resourceful theological reflection. They will critically reflect on the theological resources (e.g., biblical studies, theology, church history) and perceptibly attend to the circumstances of the contemporary context in order to interpret faithfully and enact or prescribe appropriate responses.
- Community: Students will demonstrate a compassionate and generous spirit towards others by inhabiting a life of godly service and justice within the world. They will be able to conduct their life within a community of shared accountability, respect, and support. They will display a healthy connectedness with the church and as they discern a clear picture of their vocation. And they will exercise mature, competent, and contextually appropriate leadership.
- Mission: Students will exhibit ardent convictions concerning the redemptive mission of God and offer compelling testimony regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will skillfully interpret cultural contexts and engage in theologically resourceful acts that embody the mission of God in contextually appropriate ways. And they will express their work in relation to the mission of God and Gospel vocation.
These four overarching principles guide the faculty as they develop curriculum and mentor students. If you have a calling to prepare for a life of ministry, come join us in God's work.
Graduate School of Theology