(Revised May 10, 2017)

Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University belongs to The Wesleyan Church. Our Christian identity thus fits within that of our parent denomination. In keeping with John Wesley’s sermon, “A Catholic Spirit,” Wesley Seminary does not require its students to agree with all the beliefs and practices of The Wesleyan Church in order to be admitted to the seminary. However, we do require that our students respect our identity as a seminary, as well as respect the differing beliefs and practices of fellow students and faculty. A catholic spirit cannot exist without mutual respect, and we can respect differences of perspective while maintaining a clear identity.

Wesley Seminary celebrates a diverse learning environment. We are a racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse learning community seeking to mirror the diversity of God’s Kingdom. We are theologically diverse with many denominational traditions represented. We are gender diverse, and believe God calls both women and men to all positions and levels of leadership and ministry in the church. We seek unity in Christ by living out Paul’s words to the Galatians: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28, NIV). We are committed to inclusivity, racial reconciliation, and God’s love for the stranger.

Wesley Seminary is committed to being a peaceable community. Following the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, we will speak the truth lovingly and serve one other graciously. Believing that peace is not simply the absence of conflict but the presence of justice, we abhor all forms of abuse, harassment, and exploitation. As people being reconciled to God, we will be agents of reconciliation. When we sin against one another, we will be quick to confess and repent; when sinned against, we will extend mercy and forgiveness. We strive to live our lives in such a way that reflects the shalom of the Kingdom of God. Toward this end, we encourage frequent participation in Christian worship, the means of grace (prayer, the Lord’s Supper, holy conversation, the study of scripture), and ministry to the “least of these.”

Statement of Faith

  • We believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Savior of all persons who put their faith in Him alone for eternal life.
  • We believe those who receive new life in Christ are called to be holy in character and conduct, and can only live this way by being filled with the Lord’s Spirit.
  • We believe in the Bible and seek to establish our faith and actions on its teachings.
  • We believe God wants people everywhere to know Him and that the purpose of the church is to tell the world about Christ through its worship, witness, and loving deeds.

Core Values (adapted from “Our Core Values & Beliefs,” The Wesleyan Church, online at https://www.wesleyan.org/beliefs)

  1. BIBLICAL AUTHORITY: The Bible is God’s holy Word. It uniquely and infallibly reveals God's plan for His people and how to live out that plan, individually and corporately. Beliefs, practices, priorities, and our mission are to be anchored in clear biblical teachings.
  2. CHRISTLIKENESS: Jesus Christ is the defining feature of God's will and relationship with all humankind. In Christ is found both newness of life and the highest and clearest example for godliness. People made new in Christ find Him to be the source of faith, hope, and love in both the inner life and in our outward actions engaging a world desperate for hope and life.
  3. DISCIPLE-MAKING: Making disciples is a clear mandate from Christ. This requires a strong missional focus on evangelism and training in spiritual growth and holy living. Done effectively, this will produce and promote growth and health in and among the churches.
  4. LOCAL CHURCH CENTERED: Wesley Seminary exists to help local congregations grow and multiply, be healthier, and to more authentically reflect God’s plan. Local churches are the most fundamental and strategic points of evangelism and discipleship. The challenge of Wesley Seminary is to keep finding the best ways to serve pastors and leaders who will strengthen, and multiply congregations.
  5. SERVANT LEADERSHIP: Wesleyans respect leadership that is placed over them, while realizing that the authority and effectiveness of spiritual leadership is not primarily bestowed, but earned, and is characterized by a loving and willing heart of obedience that serves God and mankind gladly. We desire to be leaders in serving.
  6. UNITY IN DIVERSITY: There is intrinsic value in every person. Biblical unity becomes all the more important and beautiful in the light of the wide-ranging differences in personalities, cultures, races, languages, talents, and perspectives. Finding unity and mutual love in Christ eliminates devaluation and deprivation of life to one another.

Community Covenants

  • Holy Living – We covenant with one another to lead holy lives pleasing to God, sourced by the Spirit, following Christ’s example, pure in word and deed.
  • Mutual Respect – We covenant with one another to listen deeply before responding, to reflect earnestly before speaking, and ultimately to respect each other, even when we disagree.
  • Personal Integrity – We covenant with one another to nurture sincerity, constancy, charity, and humility in our personal and professional lives.
  • Academic Honesty – We covenant with one another to create an environment that fosters honest scholarship, pursuit of knowledge, and Christ-like character.