Our Defining Values and Strategic Vision
Defining Values: Asbury Seminary is committed to historic Christian faith in the Wesleyan tradition in a way which is globally engaged, spiritually formative, and missionally alert.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to serving the global Church.
We will be ever mindful of the global Church as we develop new programs, utilize technology and innovative delivery systems, understand global trends, and partner with theological institutions around the world. We will strategically deploy faculty, student, and learning resources on every continent in a collaborative way marked by servant leadership.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to graduate-level theological education which is faithful to God’s Word.
Serious biblical, theological, and pastoral reflection which is committed to historic orthodoxy is crucial for the long-term health and vitality of the Church. Asbury Seminary needs a well-trained, missionally alive, spiritually vibrant faculty and staff in order to “theologically educate” men and women. Although we are generously catholic with all those who are historically orthodox, we are called to highlight the distinctive contributions of the Wesleyan/Arminian tradition. We will resist attempts to downgrade our programs and scholarship and, instead, we will extend effective pastoral leadership and Wesleyan scholarship around the world.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to personal and community formation.
Asbury Seminary is a worshiping community of formation and learning. We acknowledge the need for, and indeed, the crucial relationship between, academic and spiritual formation. Our campuses should be rich environments for spiritual development, global community, sacrificial service, catechesis, and holiness, to the end that Asbury Seminary might propel a twenty-first century renewed emphasis and deeper understanding of holiness. If students do not graduate holy and Spirit-filled, then we have not fulfilled our mission. To this end, we must extend formation opportunities to all our faculty, staff, and students.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to pursuing a diverse, missionally oriented student body.
We will identify students who are missional, diverse, committed, and teachable. Asbury Seminary is committed to developing a lifelong relationship with our students and alumni. We want to assist in helping students to understand the call of God in their lives, and we want them to see the Seminary as a lifelong partner in helping them to be effective in their service to Christ and His Church. We believe that helping to equip students to effectively engage a post-Christendom context in North America is highly strategic for both church renewal and church planting. We believe that helping students understand the remarkable missional possibilities around the world is strategic for our commitment to “spread scriptural holiness throughout the world.”
Asbury Seminary will be committed to lifelong learning for pastors and church leaders.
The rapid pace of change in the world requires that we no longer conceptualize a two- or three-year degree as an isolated period of training which equips someone for a lifetime of ministry. Rather, we affirm the importance of developing an ongoing relationship with our alumni/ae for their entire ministry. The growing challenges and fast-paced change in the world today require that pastors and leaders become lifelong learners. Asbury Seminary is committed to extending the resources of the Seminary as a bridge not only to our graduates, but to many new groups who will look to us for training and instruction. Asbury Seminary will become a vital resource for ongoing teaching, distribution of resources, networking, collaboration, retooling, and reflection.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to equipping pastors for missional engagement in service to the Church.
North America is the fastest-emerging mission field in the world. Many churches have either lost connection with dynamic, apostolic orthodoxy or do not have a clear strategy for missional engagement. Asbury Seminary is committed to spiritual renewal, member revitalization, church planting, and evangelism. Only through the full recovery of the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers can we effectively strengthen and extend the Church of Jesus Christ. Asbury Seminary must become a leader in preparing and equipping church planters as well as fostering church planting networks around the world.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to serving the emerging ethnic churches.
We are committed to responding effectively to the growing ethnic diversity and urbanization of North America. We will develop degree and non-degree programs as well as demonstrate flexibility in delivery systems for Hispanic, Chinese, Korean, African-American, Indian, and other ethnic minorities.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to developing new constituencies.
While continuing our strong commitment to traditional and mainline Wesleyan and Methodist churches, we must also recognize the strategic importance of the 432 million new independent Christians who are emerging as a fourth branch of Christianity and will, over the next generation, largely replace what are often referred to as the “mainline” churches. The fastest-growing churches in America are ethnic, urban, missional, and non-denominational. Asbury Seminary is committed to training these Christians and introducing (or reintroducing) them to the great Wesleyan heritage and history of the Church.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to the laity.
We affirm that the Church, properly understood, is a lay movement, which is trained, guided, and deployed through effective, often ordained, leadership. Every Christian should see their lives as a divine, strategic placement for the effective extension of the gospel. We will develop specific programs and reproducible models for effective lay training and empowerment for ministry. The Beeson Center is strategically positioned to lead Asbury Seminary in this area.
Asbury Seminary will be committed to strengthening our economic model and developing our network of support.
Under God’s grace, the mission of Asbury Seminary is enabled through two sources of revenue: students and gifts from alumni and friends. The Seminary must develop a long-term model of economic viability which optimizes and expands our revenue. In order to achieve our strategic plan we also need a full-orbed, longrange advancement and communication strategy. This includes a robust commitment to donor development, capital campaigns, scholarship support, planned giving, alumni affairs, Trustee involvement, and generous donations into the mission of the Seminary.