Affirmations

The governing boards and faculty of Goshen College view the college as an educational institution giving concrete expression to their faith in God and Christian mission in the world. They affirm the doctrine and practice of the Mennonite Church as interpreted by the Mennonite General Assembly and formulated in such documents as the 1995 “Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective.”

The Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition of biblical faith provides the theological emphases that give Goshen College its distinctive character. While the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ can never be summarized in brief statements, we offer the following affirmations as guidelines for the expression of our faith and as perspectives guiding the educational program.

First, we acknowledge the reality of God the creator of all things, transcendent source of power in the universe, the sovereign ruler of peoples.

Second, we recognize Jesus Christ as Son of God, as Lord of Life, and as Savior from the bondage of sin. Through His life, death and resurrection, the kingdom of God has been inaugurated, and through the Spirit His rule extends over all powers and authorities. We accept the Great Commission as a call to bring the message of our risen Lord to all the world so that all people might be saved.

Third, we affirm the Believers Church as defining both the shape and mission of the church. Central to this view are such emphases as voluntarism, fellowship, sharing, discernment, discipline, mission, evangelism, celebration. The character of the Believers Church is that of a peoplehood which transcends and overcomes cultural, national, racial and ethnic boundaries.

Fourth, we consider the Christian life to be a life of discipleship, a personal response of faith and obedience to the grace of God which frees us from sin. We believe that the call of discipleship leads to a life of holiness, witness and service to humanity in the spirit and power of Jesus.

Fifth, we understand that the “good news,” the gospel of the kingdom, includes peacemaking, evangelism, love and social justice in a world characterized by violence, oppression and injustice. We are committed to healing and hope for all people everywhere, especially disadvantaged peoples.

Sixth, we regard education as a process not only for the developing of skills and comprehension of information but also for the development of character and acquiring of sensibilities. As such, education is a moral activity, value-laden and involves the whole person in the determination of choices and the assimilation of change. The learning process best takes place in a context of community where mutuality and caring characterize all relationships.