We, the trustees, administration, faculty, staff and students embrace this global mission as a Wesleyan community which stands within the tradition of Christian orthodoxy and whose life and work is committed to reflecting the truth, beauty and goodness of God’s holiness. We aspire to order our communal and personal life according to the truth and love revealed in Scripture and imparted by the Holy Spirit. We pledge ourselves to go on to the fullness of salvation, seeking through relationships of mutual accountability the maturity of faith, hope, and love that reflects the mind and likeness of Jesus Christ. By the Spirit’s power we will bear witness to God’s Kingdom, embodying a way of scriptural holiness that unites sound knowledge and vital piety in proclaiming the Gospel and participating in God’s mission. We covenant together to embrace ways of living in keeping with the spirit and intent of the General Rules set forth by John Wesley.
- By doing no harm and by avoiding evil of every kind.
- By doing good of every possible sort as far as possible to all people.
- By practicing the means of grace together.
We are committed to speaking the truth in love, sharing one another’s burdens, bearing with one another’s weaknesses, and serving one another by the mercy, forgiveness, and reconciliation extended by God. We will practice and nurture speech that is just, charitable, encouraging, and respectful of the standards and policies of Asbury Seminary. Exercising discernment which is guided by the law of love, we will affirm the breadth of views that bear witness to the richness of the Gospel and the diversity of Christian communities it calls and creates. With God’s help we will exercise the freedom of joyful obedience in being faithful stewards of our minds, bodies, time, gifts, abilities, possessions, and finances as expressions of God’s good creation. We will renounce those attitudes and actions that resist the work of the Spirit, divide Christian community, and impede human flourishing. In faithfulness to the Gospel, we will resist the pervasive influence of materialism and commit ourselves to ministry with the poor. We will reject utilitarian methods that commodify the faith and mission of the church according to the values of a consumerist culture. By God’s grace, we will nurture redemptive relationships that honor and uphold the dignity of creation, human life, the sanctity of human sexuality, the equality of women and men, the covenant of Christian marriage, and the importance of the family. Soli Deo Gloria!
Application of Wesley’s General Rules as a Covenantal Community
This covenantal ethos orients our community life toward the fullness of holy love as the end of God’s Law which has been fulfilled in the life and work of Jesus Christ. In light of the truth and goodness of God revealed by Christ, and as interpreted by our Wesleyan heritage, we acknowledge the Christian life cannot be reduced to either right doctrine or morality. Because we have been created and redeemed through Christ in the power of the Spirit, the fullness of salvation consists of the restoration of our being and life in communion with God and others. Intrinsic to our task as a theological seminary is the cultivation of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue for the practice of faithful obedience that bears fruit in love for God, our neighbors, and the whole creation. For this reason, concerns related to particular expressions of thought and behavior will be assessed in light of the law of love which is the source, means, and goal of true freedom in Christ. To this end, we commit ourselves to seeking the Spirit’s wisdom and discernment through the study of Scripture and participation in the means of grace, common worship, and holy conversation. For the common good of the Asbury Seminary community, we offer the following guidance:
- We stand with all Christians, both past and present, against the misuse of all substances that abuse the body, foster addiction, and bring harm to others.
- We covenant with each other to maintain an alcohol, tobacco and drug free environment with respect to all seminary facilities, events, and activities.
- We affirm the need for responsible care and stewardship of the human body through regular exercise when possible, practicing healthy eating habits, and proper balancing of study, work, rest, and leisure.
- We commit ourselves to the practice of celibacy in singleness and fidelity in Christian marriage which we affirm as a sacred union between one woman and one man.
- We commit ourselves to helping one another attain the highest standards of sexual morality, and to recognize the devastating personal, social, and global effects of sexual sin against God, the self, and others, but especially society’s most vulnerable members.
- We condemn any form of harassment or abuse.
This ethos assumes the practice of Christian hospitality within a seminary community that is dependent upon the gift of God’s grace and characterized by relationships of mutual trust and respect. To this end, we acknowledge our constant need for keeping covenant with one another and diligence in speaking the truth in love. We encourage the practice of repentance, confession, pardon, correction, and redemptive discipline when breaches of this covenant may occur.