Many of you know that I have moved to Columbia, South Carolina to begin teaching in the Seminary and School of Ministry at Columbia International University. CIU has an orientation process for their new faculty that I've already appreciated greatly. It really helps new faculty (especially those who were never students here) to grasp well the ethos of the school and its history.
CIU has a broad evangelical statement of faith. This is in contrast to a denominational college or seminary that might be Presbyterian, Baptist, or Methodist. The only unique aspect to the statement of faith (or, doctrinal statement) that is more narrow than a broad evangelical stance is the statement on premillennialism.
CIU purpose statement is to "educate people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ." We have five core values:
1) The authority of Scripture - Scripture governs everything CIU is about. It is inspired and inerrant.
2) Victorious Christian living - This has been explained in several different ways, but basically it is the expectation that a Christian will be growing in Christ-likeness and not stagnant in their faith.
3) World Evangelization - CIU is most known as a missions sending school (though it is much more than that). The emphasis upon reaching the lost throughout the world for Christ is felt throughout campus. When driving on to the main road leading to the campus (called International Blvd), flags of nations throughout the world are flying (see picture to the right).
4) Prayer & Faith - This is a community that relies upon God for everything and demonstrates that reliance in prayer. Several days throughout the school year classes are cancelled so a dedicated time in prayer can be spent.
5) Evangelical Unity - We are a diverse faculty coming from various perspectives: covenant and dispensational, paedo-baptist and credo-baptist, calvinistic and arminian. We avoid dogmatism on non-central doctrines and avoid compromise by holding to an strong evangelical, orthodox doctrinal statement.
As I blogged previously, I have had many connections to Columbia, SC and CIU over the years. I'm excited for classes to begin next week and to get back to teaching. This is a wonderful place with so many godly, humble, meek servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. It truly is an honor to be working here.