Heart of Briercrest

heartofbriercrest

The really important work that Briercrest College and Seminary has been called to do is not finished. It is essential that we stay on mission and work hard in this age to realize the vision that put this story in motion some 75 years ago. What follows is an executive summary of our work. It is a compilation of the phrases and values that continue to guide what we do. Our prayer and responsibility is to be faithful to these commitments before God.

The Goal: To provide outstanding Christian education to students who will leave our halls to engage in lives of serving God, the church, and the world.

The Outcome: Lifelong learners who serve because they love God and are being profoundly shaped by his Word, who make a difference because they have developed skills that prepare them to make a rich contribution, who are courageous because they are joining the work of our Lord in this age, and who walk with humility because they have experienced what it means to learn and live in community.

The Venue: A Christian learning community that offers rigorous education in each of our schools (high school, college, and seminary) and that hosts students in a residential environment designed to nurture their personal, emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual potential for serving as passionate, thoughtful followers of Jesus.

The Stategies: Careful reflection upon and submission to the Scriptures; liberal arts learning that both invites students to think carefully about God's world and equips them to live productive lives; formal and informal preparation for diverse forms of service; and life in community that fosters deep and meaningful relationships.

The Learning Objectives: A vibrant love for the triune God that leads students to honour him in every area of life; an integrity that loves truth and regards obedience to the truth as the goal of study; a profound sense of calling to serve God with one's whole life by sharing in his mission through the church and in the world; a growing submission to and love for the Scriptures and a commitment to handle the text with skill and care; the competency and confidence to read enduring texts with insight, communicate with clarity, and reason with wisdom; a love of learning that does not lead to arrogance, but is instead rooted in the humility that is nurtured by God's Spirit; a commitment to relationship that values lasting friendships, works out differences and disputes, and pursues effective teamwork; a growing understanding of and appreciation for creation and the world in which we live; and a love for life that embraces the good gifts of God.

The Programs: A private high school with unique athletic and artistic opportunities; a Christian college with reputable arts degrees in Bible, theology, Christian ministry, business, humanities, global studies, music, and youth ministry; and a seminary with professional degrees in theology, divinity (church leadership), leadership and management, and marriage and family counselling.

The Tradition: A Christian college that combines the distinctives of the Bible college movement with the advantages of liberal arts learning. We are upholding a deep commitment to gather students around the Scriptures in formal study (we require all students to make Bible and theology an important concentration in their degrees), and we foster a deep commitment to the work of the church and the equipping of students to participate in that work. Our aim is to produce learners who are skilled in communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking, and who are as astute in their study of history as they are conversant with the current age. We value these liberal arts skills as relevant for servant leaders in a wide range of vocations and ministries, and we celebrate this type of liberal arts learning in the midst of the careful study of the Scriptures and the work of the church. This is the type of work we have been doing for several decades, and it is work that we intend to do even better in the future.

The Heritage: We cherish our evangelical heritage as a community committed to the authority of holy Scripture. We affirm the urgency of personal response to the gospel of Jesus Christ and his atoning work on the cross, the empowering of the Holy Spirit for personal holiness and service, and the importance of the elimination of injustice in response to the repeated calls of the Hebrew prophets that find a loud echo in the kingdom vision of Jesus. The ongoing call to seek and submit to the truth of Scripture has been an important work for our learning community. We continue to call for all that we do and teach to be submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the Spirit-inspired Scriptures. We conti nue to invite reformation, joining the Bereans in studying the Bible to confirm a right understanding of the gospel and to act on that understanding. We seek to foster a context of dialogue for evangelical denominations. In this dialogue, we continue to be intentionally centrist. We have earned the trust of our sending churches, and we want to sustain that trust as we teach a wonderfully diverse group of students from equally diverse evangelical heritages. We want to follow Jesus in calling our students to seek first his kingdom.

The Challenge: This age has us wrestling in new ways over the right manner of proclaiming the gospel to the next generation. Striking the right posture to teach a generation that has a high view of tolerance and a low view of truth is some of our most difficult work. Many of our students begin their studies with very little biblical literacy and very little confidence for rightly submitting to Jesus Christ. It is daunting work to discern how best to urge each student to work out his or her faith.

The Invitation: We are eagerly seeking students, advocates, churches, and donors who will take an active role in and with this learning community. We celebrate a story (a heritage, a sacred trust) that requires the subscription, enrolment, and the gifts of each generation to ensure its future. Briercrest College and Seminary- our high school, college, and seminary-warrants our participation in building a strong future. We invite our students to give their very best to their studies and to their engagement in this learning community. Earning the trust of these students, their parents, the church, and faithful partners willing to support this work is critical to our future. We want to be among the schools that establish the credibility and value of Christian higher education for this age.