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What We Believe

Our heritage is not only where we’ve come from—it’s integral to who we are today and who we will become tomorrow.

Students pray together in the Bison Square.

Students pray together in the Bison Square.

The Centering Core

Lipscomb University, like the “Restoration Movement” that emerged in the 1830s, seeks to call together all people of Christian faith into God’s story and work, including the work of this institution. Then, as well as now, it seeks to unify those who embrace Scripture as the guide to the Christian faith and reflect its teachings and practices in their lives. In an increasingly secular nation and in a higher education environment that is far less supportive of Christian education, Lipscomb University seeks to be a spiritual light, faithful in its calling and completely committed to the education of the whole student both academically and spiritually. It humbly seeks the prayers and support of those who see its mission as important in today’s world: educating students to be competent in their professions while also taking lives of Christian character into the world.

In a time when Christian universities must operate in a more secular world, Lipscomb University’s Board of Trustees has deliberately chosen to visibly and vigorously affirm its Christian heritage and commitment. By adopting the Centering Core as a Biblical statement of faith through which all members of the University community can be unified, the board follows in the footsteps of Lipscomb University’s founders who sought to unify all people of faith in embracing Biblical truth. The Centering Core affirms the core Biblical beliefs of Christianity and embraces the distinctive beliefs and practices that have emerged in Churches of Christ. The Centering Core boldly affirms that Lipscomb University will be intentionally, courageously and graciously Christian and it is through this lens that governing decisions are made for an educational institution comprised of almost 6,000 students and more than 900 faculty and staff.

The Centering Core is an important part of the Lipscomb community as a reflection of its Biblical beliefs, as a reference in the employment process, as an affirmation in community worship and as a tangible way those beliefs can be articulated in witness to the larger world. Through the Statement of Faith we bind together our belief of God’s story in our community of believers.

Statement of Faith

We believe in God the Father,
who created the heavens and the earth,
making all human beings as divine image bearers.
We violated the image of God in others and ourselves,
and abandoned our role in the creation.
In response, God chose Israel as a blessing and light to all peoples,
    in order to renew the creation.

We believe in God the Son, Jesus the Messiah, born of the virgin Mary.
He was fully human and fully God.
Baptized in water and anointed with the Spirit, he proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor and brokenhearted,
announcing forgiveness by calling all to repent and believe the good news, and
commissioning his followers to make disciples,
 baptizing them into the communion of the Father, Son, and Spirit and
 teaching them to embrace this new way of life.
Jesus was crucified, giving his life for the sin of the world.
God raised Jesus from the dead,
breaking the power of sin and evil,
delivering us from death to eternal life,
and inaugurating new creation.
God enthroned Jesus as the Lord of creation.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit, the giver and renewer of life,
whom the Father, through the Son, poured out upon us,
enabling us to love God and neighbor, and
binding us together with all believers in the church, the Body of Christ,
and together we give thanks at the table of the Lord.
The Spirit spoke through the prophets and apostles,
and inspired Scripture to equip us for every good work.
The Spirit empowers us
to witness to Christ as Lord and Savior, and
to work for justice and peace
      as we seek to live holy and joyful lives.

We believe in the resurrection of the dead,
wait for God’s new heaven and new earth,
      and pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Approved by Lipscomb University’s Board of Trustees on February 3, 2018. Edited May 9, 2019.

Heritage

Lipscomb University’s rich foundation is rooted in Christianity, and throughout all its history, it has maintained a close association to the Churches of Christ. As a faith-based liberal arts institution, Lipscomb seeks to serve both this heritage and the broader Christian community. The following strengths and guiding principles have manifested throughout the history of the Churches of Christ, and we at Lipscomb affirm these in our pursuit of God’s will for our lives and our university.

  1. An Ongoing Search for Truth
    We can never fully grasp God’s truth, and each generation must search the Christian Scriptures for itself, not simply resting on doctrines passed down from previous generations. This commitment to an ongoing search for truth is central to the mission of a university. 
  2. A Commitment to the Unity of Christians
    Churches of Christ in their modern beginnings focused on bringing divided believers together by setting aside denominational creeds and focusing on the centrality of Christ. The goal was not a new denomination but the union of believers everywhere under the authority of Christ. Though they themselves experienced numerous divisions, Churches of Christ have strong instincts toward unity embedded in their heritage. In a time when denominationalism is receding, we seek to draw upon this heritage to serve and bless a broad range of students.
  3. The Centrality and Authority of the God-Inspired Scriptures
    Our heritage has taught us to pursue and encourage the study of the Bible, and this remains a central part of Lipscomb’s curriculum. 
  4. A Strong Commitment to the Church and Its Life and Ministry
    The church is the “household of God” and the central means by which God carries out God’s mission in the world. The mission and ministry of the congregation is a high priority for us.
  5. God’s Work in the Church
    We hold a high view of God’s work in the church through baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and the gathering of God’s people for worship. We affirm that God has incorporated us into the body of Christ through baptism and is present among us when we assemble to worship in Spirit and in truth through praying, congregational singing, hearing the Word of God, sharing our resources, and eating and drinking together with Jesus at the table of the Lord.
  6. A Strong Commitment to the Priesthood of All Believers
    Every baptized believer is viewed as a minister and expected to participate in the life, worship and ministry of the congregation. Prayer is central to all who take this priesthood seriously.