PREAMBLE electing the church
forgiving sins and reconciling our divided humanity
liberating the oppressed
transforming persons, institutions, societies
establishing justice, righteousness, and peace upon the earth
New Brunswick Theological Seminary seeks, by our work and worship, to confess that God created all worlds, enters into covenant with Israel, through Jesus' triumphs over sin and death, and through Word and Spirit is making all things new:
For this renewal, God calls men and women to the ministry of the church.
| 1.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values the Bible as the authoritative witness to God's self-revelation and definitive guide for Christian faith and practice.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary sees itself as continuing the tradition of sola scriptura as established by its forbears at the time of the Protestant Reformation, believing that scripture is the ultimate source of God's truth and guide to the church's mission.
|2.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values the community that exists on each of its campuses, the conversations that occur within each of the communities, and its connection with other communities of faith.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary highly values the diversity of its students and faculty, in terms of tradition, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, and life experience, as well as the insights and wisdom brought by them to the seminary communities. The Seminary thus affirms the importance of educational hospitality and open communication-of many conversations contributing to a single conversation. The Seminary is grateful for the ecumenical commitments of its sponsoring denomination, the Reformed Church in America, believing its denominationally diverse communities to be an expression of this commitment and an incentive for further ecumenical engagement.
|3.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values a theology of ministry requiring scholarship, critical discernment and dialogical learning as the basis for ministerial vocation guided by the principle of faith seeking understanding.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary esteems the emphasis of the Reformed tradition on a "learned ministry" for the well-being of the church and seeks to provide this to its students. The Seminary thus encourages the scholarly work and publication of its faculty, interactive education, and new and creative pedagogies, including those provided by learning technologies.
|4.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values the spiritual formation of the whole person in the image of God in Christ-character, piety, integrity and grace.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary understands ministerial preparation to include the enrichment of personal, covenantal relationships with God. In this endeavor, the Seminary provides opportunities within the classroom and the community for persons to enrich their covenantal relationships through academic study, participation in worship, dialogue, and exposure to the spiritual practices of other traditions. Such spiritual formation seeks to intensify individual spiritual life, enable growth in personal faith, energize passion for the gospel, and affect public witness. It believes the church is best served when academic rigor combines with devotion.
|5.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values the Reformed Church in America's ecclesiastical office of General Synod Professor of Theology.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary understands the historic office of the doctor of the church as a testimony to the Church's high regard for education, on the one hand, and for the importance of ministry, on the other. The inclusion of the professorate among the other offices of the church (Minister of Word and Sacrament, Elder, and Deacon) asserts that education for ministry is ministry.
|6.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values preparing men and women for ministries that are both prophetic and pastoral. |
New Brunswick Theological Seminary understands such ministries to be evangelical, in that they are committed to the good news of God's grace in Jesus Christ; ecumenical, in that they confess the essential oneness of Christ's church while at the same time being thoroughly grounded in the particularities of their own traditions; confessing and critical, in that they both embrace and question the faith and practice of the church's traditions; compassionate, in that they touch and are touched by human suffering; collegial, in that they draw on resources and gifts of others who share Christian vocation; and transformative, in that they seek to transform all of life according to the purposes of Christ, whose kingdom they serve.
|7.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values providing accessible theological education, especially to those for whom theological education would be otherwise unavailable.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary prizes the biblical virtue of hospitality, and believes that this, in the form of accessibility, should be offered by a graduate school committed to the ministry of the church. Thus the Seminary provides flexible academic scheduling with day and night courses allowing persons engaged in full-time employment to achieve their educational goals; and strives to provide funding through capital campaigns for scholarship aid, denominational structures and federal loan programs while maintaining low tuition rates and fees. The Seminary believes that accessibility requires initiatives locating those under-represented in ministerial positions, and recruiting them for seminary enrollment.
|8.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values its location in the northeastern region of the United States and understands itself to be shaped primarily by the resources and challenges of the regional metro-urban church and post-Christendom culture.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary welcomes the opportunities and challenges offered in this region, such as racism, cultural diversity, injustice, poverty, polarization, and crime, are also pedagogical and missional opportunities. The Seminary embraces whole-heartedly a theology that believes that the gospel transforms social and political entities as well as persons, and that the northeastern region provides the Seminary with opportunities to become an educational leader in preparing men and women for such ministries.
|9.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values partnerships with other institutions and collaborative approaches to education.|
New Brunswick Theological Seminary highly values cross-registration arrangements with Rutgers University; Princeton Theological Seminary and St. John's University; D.Min. collaboration with the Edward J. Bloustein School of Urban Policy, Planning and Public Health; and interaction with city planning through New Brunswick Tomorrow.
|10.|| New Brunswick Theological Seminary values the gifts God has given to the individuals composing the communities on each of the Seminary's campuses, to the community as a whole, and to the Seminary as an institution, seeing these gifts as resources to be used, rather than as assets to be hoarded. God has given abundantly, and the Seminary acknowledges the call to responsible stewardship.|
While many today are questioning the need for theological education, New Brunswick Theological Seminary continues to strive for excellence in all aspects of education, in community and spiritual formation, and in corporate responsibility. We affirm that theological education is not simply a set of skills but is a transformative process that creates critically reflective and thoughtful men and women to serve the church with creativity, intelligence and piety. In a world where corruption is commonplace, New Brunswick Theological Seminary pledges to see all of its assets as gifts from God and strives to manage and increase these gifts faithfully, through the wise and responsible use of human, material and financial resources.