Vision, Mission, Statement of Faith, and Community Life Covenant

Vision Statement

Montreat College seeks to be a leader in Christ-centered higher education regionally, nationally, and globally.

Mission Statement

Montreat College is an independent, Christ-centered, liberal arts institution that educates students through intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career, all to impact the world for Jesus Christ.

Statement of Faith

Preamble

The trustees and employees of Montreat College constitute an academic community of caring believers committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Students are welcomed to this Christian community regardless of belief.

Statement of Faith

The trustees and employees commit themselves to the following faith statement drawn from the college’s Reformed tradition:

1. We believe in one sovereign God, eternally existing in three persons: God the Father; His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior; and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. (Daniel 4:25, 35; Mark 12:29; John 1:1, 14, 18; 14:28; 15:26; 16:28; Romans 9:15-23; Revelation 4:11)

2. We believe the Bible, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, completely inspired and authoritative, and is to govern Christians in every aspect of life and conduct. (I Thessalonians 2:13; II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:21)

3. We believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, whom the Father sent into the world to atone for the sin of humanity. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and lived a life without sin. He was crucified and rose victoriously from the dead. Through His gift of grace, we as believers are redeemed for all eternity and are reconciled to the Heavenly Father. (Luke 1:26-37; 2:6, 7; John 3:16; Romans 3:10, 23; Romans 5:12-15; I John 3:8)

4. We believe the Holy Spirit is a free gift to believers from the Father and the Son to live within us and to empower us to love and obey the Lord and His Word. (John 14:15-17; John 16: 5-15; Ephesians 1:13-14)

5. We believe the Triune God is the sole Creator and Sustainer of the universe. God created all things and declared all He created to be good. After creating Adam and Eve in His own image, in a state of original righteousness, and distinct from all other living creatures, the Lord gave to all humanity the responsibility of caring for His world. (Genesis 1-2; John 1:1-18)

6. We believe God’s good and perfect creation became tainted in every aspect by sin from humanity’s rebellion against God. We acknowledge the existence, evil power, and influence of Satan. (Genesis 3; Ephesians 6:12)

7. We believe the Church is all who believe in and confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and receive God’s grace. We are called by God to be His one body of believers, gathered in communities. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Church’s call is to declare His Good News of salvation to the fallen and lost world, to make disciples, and to serve all who are wounded, broken, and neglected. (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15-18; Romans 10:9-10; II Corinthians 5:17-21; Ephesians 2:8-9; 4)

8. We believe all those who profess Jesus as Savior and Lord are to follow in His Way and are to live as those who magnify and glorify Him, the Head of His Church. As forgiven followers, we are called to live holy and blameless lives through the power of the Holy Spirit until that time when Jesus Christ shall return in all His glory. (I Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 4:22-24; Hebrews 10:14; I John 3:4-9; 4:4; 5:1-5)

Community Life Covenant for Trustees and Employees

Preface

Montreat College is an independent Christian institution of higher learning, originally founded as a Presbyterian, church-related college, and remains grounded in the Reformed tradition. Our mission as an academic community is not merely the transmission of information; it is the development of whole persons who will build the Church and benefit society worldwide. We pursue our mission to educate students through intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career within the context of the Christian faith and in keeping with the college’s heritage and affiliations with the Church.

We are a community of faith that seeks to live according to biblical standards laid down by Jesus Christ for His body, the Church. We recognize the Bible to be the infallible Word of God and fully authoritative in matters of life and conduct, as reflected in the college’s Statement of Faith. It is crucial that each trustee and employee of the college clearly understand, affirm, and support the Community Life Covenant. By entering into this covenant we are, before the Lord, joining in a compact with other members of the Montreat College community.

The Purposes of our Community Life Covenant

The goal of life at Montreat College is to live, work, serve, and worship together as an educational community centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is intended that this community covenant would be understood as a grace-filled standard for life together, and serve as a means of encouraging godly living, with integrity and with honor for one another as we grow as a community.

The biblical foundation of Christian community is expressed in Jesus’ two great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[1] Jesus himself perfectly demonstrated this pattern: love for God, acted out in love for others. Acknowledging our dependence on the power and grace of God, the trustees and employees of the Montreat College community commit to live according to this ideal.

The purposes of this community covenant are as follows: [2]

  • To affirm our identity as a Christ-centered institution that integrates its life around biblical principles and devotion to Jesus Christ;
  • To affirm the integrity of our mission’s promise to our students and their parents to educate through intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career, all to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
  • To affirm our unity as a community with shared values and a shared framework of grace and faith, so that each member can serve and grow faithfully in our dependence on God’s Spirit and obedience to His Word.

Living the Christian Life

As followers of Jesus Christ and recipients of His grace, we live out our faith on a daily basis. As broken persons, we acknowledge that we do and will do this imperfectly. As a community that highly values growing in maturity both individually and corporately, we commit to that which will produce godly growth and reject that which will cause us and others harm. In light of this, we commit to the following:

  • Show evidence of the Holy Spirit who lives within all believers, such as “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control;” [3]
  • Seek righteousness, mercy, and justice; [4]
  • Love and side with what is good in God’s eyes, and abhor what is evil in God’s eyes; [5]
  • Uphold the God-given worth of every human being, from conception to death, as unique image-bearers of God; [6]
  • Pursue unity and embrace ethnic and racial diversity as part of God’s design for humanity and practice reconciliation as one of His redemptive purposes in Christ; [7]
  • Affirm chastity among the unmarried and the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman; [8]
  • Be people of integrity whose word can be fully trusted;[9]
  • Give faithful witness to the Gospel, practice good works toward all and live lives of prayer and thanksgiving. [10]

By contrast, even though God forgives people through his grace, we acknowledge that the Bible condemns certain behaviors, and we commit to avoid the following:

  • Pride, immodesty in dress or behavior, slander, gossip, vulgar or obscene language, blasphemy, greed, covetousness, theft (including plagiarism), and the taking of innocent life; [11]
  • Self-righteousness, and legalism, understood as the imposition of extra-biblical standards of godliness by one person or group upon another; [12]
  • Sinful attitudes and behaviors, such as impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, envy, and drunkenness; [13]
  • Sexual immorality, including the use of pornography and all other sexual behaviors the Bible reveals to be contrary to God’s loving design for humanity. [14]

Exercising Responsible Freedom

The Montreat College community seeks to practice responsible Christian freedom. This requires a wise stewardship of mind, body, time, abilities, and resources on the part of every member of the community. Responsible freedom also requires thoughtful, biblical choices in matters of behavior, entertainment, interpersonal relationships, and observance of the Lord’s Day.

Trustees and employees of the college community will also use careful and loving discretion in the use of alcohol. We are especially concerned about the serious problem of alcohol use and abuse in collegiate environments. We seek to create a learning environment in which all our students can thrive. All persons are created in the image of God, thus we possess a sacred responsibility for the safety and care of our students. As such, trustees and employees will seek to avoid serving alcohol to, or consuming it with, any Montreat College student. [15]

Conclusion

Montreat College recognizes that not all students who attend the college come from a Christian faith background, but the trustees and employees do agree to live as an example for them in matters of Christian life and conduct.

Montreat College is a covenant community committed to integrity, responsible freedom, and dynamic, Christ-like love, and a place where the name of Jesus Christ is honored in all we do. This requires that each of us keep our word by taking the commitment to this covenant seriously as covenant keepers, whatever pressures we may face to do otherwise.

NOTE: Bible quotations are taken from the New International Version (1995).

[1] Matthew 22:37-40
[2] Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15-17; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 3:16-17
[3] Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:5-7; Colossians 3:12-14
[4] Proverbs 21:3; 31:8-9; Micah 6:8; Matthew 23:23; Galatians 6:10
[5] Amos 5:15; Romans 12:9, 16:19
[6] Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-8; 139:13-16; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:15-17
[7] Isaiah 56:6-7; John 17:20-23; Acts 17:26; Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-18; Colossians 3:11; Revelation 7:9-10
[8] 1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Hebrews 13:4
[9] Psalm 15:4; Matthew 5:33-37
[10] Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 10:24; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18; James 5:16; Titus 2:7-8
[11] Proverbs 16:18; 1 Corinthians 6:10; Exodus 20:7; Romans 13:9; Colossians 3:8-9; James 2:1-13; Romans 13:1-2; 1 Timothy 2:8-10; Hebrews 13:5-6; Exodus 20:15
[12] Acts 15:5-11; Matthew 16:6; 23:13-36; Galatians 2:11-14; 6:1-5
[13] Galatians 5:19-21
[14] Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 1:21-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Genesis 2:24; Ephesians 5:31
[15] 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6; 1 Peter 2:16-17