Vision – To Make Disciples of Jesus on the University Campus
Mission – To equip and encourage Christian leaders for ministry on campus that builds communities of growing disciples of Jesus defined by love of God and others for the benefit of the entire worldwide church in the present and into the future.
1. Equipping and Encouraging Christian Leaders
CSFPA exists to equip and encourage Christian leaders for ministry on campus. We affirm that God’s Holy Spirit calls people into leadership in various ways: full-time and bivocational ministers, interns, volunteers, and students. CSFPA offers training, coaching, continuing education and other support to leaders called to minister on campus.
2. Building Communities on Unity in Christ
We desire the unity of believers for which Jesus prayed (John 17:20-23), bringing together disciples from across Christian traditions, setting aside all dogmas and creeds that divide us. CSFPA emphasizes the essentials, rooted in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus, on which Christians through the ages have affirmed. Our communities welcome students from diverse backgrounds to learn from one another in a spirit of tolerance, love, patience and diversity of opinion on issues secondary dogmas and doctrines.
3. Growing Disciples into conformity with Christ
Jesus of Nazareth is God’s clearest revelation of who God is (Jesus is fully God) and what humans are created to be (Jesus is fully human). From this, CSFPA aims to make and nurture disciples of Jesus in a life increasingly conformed to his example and teaching. Discipleship happens in community with other Christians both on and off campus. CSF communities on campus are not a replacement for the local church, instead CSFPA desires our students to be involved in vibrant church communities off campus that benefit their life on campus.
4. Serving the World in Imitation of Christ
Jesus taught that the greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbor; we believe that we demonstrate love of God by loving our neighbor. We are called to meet the basic needs of people in our community, echoing the acts of Jesus during his earthly life such as feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, healing the sick and working for emotional and spiritual healing for all people. Echoing Jesus’ acts also includes announcing the forgiveness and inviting all people into relationship with God. Our communities on campus seek to announce God's love in word and deed to students, staff and faculty.
5. Discovering and Using Gifts in the Body of Christ
Each individual Christian has different talents and gifts which contribute to the growth of the entire community. We aim to help Christians identify their talents and gift, praying that each person may derive a sense of belonging and an added sense of worth as they recognize how they can contribute to the mission of God in the world. Our hope is that students leave campus upon graduation, prepared to actively participate in the local church and to use their gifts in their careers, local community and anywhere else they find themselves.
Statement of Faith (From the Association of College Ministries)
God is one being eternally coexisting in three persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is the source of all creation (Gen. 1:1; John 1:1-2), which He sustains (Col. 1:17) and is in the process of redeeming (Rom. 8:19-22). God the Father loves us and desires that we have fellowship with Him as His children (I John 1:3).
Jesus of Nazareth is the incarnation of God the Son. He is the Word become flesh (John 1:14), and He now holds all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). He is both Savior and Lord. He made human salvation possible through His sinless life, His innocent and brutal death on the cross, and His literal, physical resurrection. He ascended into heaven where He is now our high priest and advocate. He and he alone is the head of the Church.
The Holy Spirit is a “person” and not a “thing,” “power,” or “force.” Although co-equal with God as Father and Son, Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit works interpersonally and actively in the world, seeking to glorify Jesus and the Father. The Holy Spirit actively works to convict people of their own sin, of God’s righteousness, and judgment to come (John 16:5-11). The Holy Spirit indwells (lives inside) believers individually, and corporately in the Church—the body and bride of Christ. The Holy Spirit produces fruit within the life of each Christian and also works to produce in each believer a pure heart which results in Christ-like character expressed in private and public conduct and action. The Holy Spirit also endows each believer with gifts for service or ministry in the kingdom.
The Bible is not just “a" book—it exists as a collection of 66 separate and distinct literary works known as the Old and New Testament Scriptures. It is the uniquely inspired Word of God (2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21). We firmly hold that the Bible stands as the only rule or standard of faith and practice for Christians. We affirm that Scripture is the only authoritative revelation from God by which we know God’s will and Christ’s authority. We seek to assert what the Scriptures clearly assert and allow freedom in other cases. We believe that to grasp the meaning of Scripture it is our solemn responsibility to seek to understand divine intent, through authorial intent, and we seek to apply its teaching to the individual Christian’s life, as well as to the contemporary church and to any culture in which Christians live.
The Church is the body of Christ on earth, the undivided, unified, and organic community of believers throughout the world. Upon surrender to Christ, a person is added to the Church. In addition, the priesthood of all believers means each Christian is called to be a serving minister, faithfully utilizing the gift or gifts given to him or her by Jesus and through the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 2:9-10). The Church’s mission (and therefore every individual disciple’s mission) is to live out the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20).
Human beings were created by God to walk in fellowship with Him. We were created to glorify God. However, all (except Jesus) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Because of this, we must rely solely on God’s generous offer of mercy, compassion, grace and forgiveness. Each human, from the moment life begins, is made in the image of God (imago dei), and as such, is a person valued and loved by God. As the human objects of His love we are to be nurtured, protected, and developed. The primary purpose of every human’s existence is to glorify God.
Salvation is by God alone through Jesus Christ alone. Salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). This salvation is obtained through a conversion process that includes hearing the truth, embracing genuine faith (trust in Christ), repenting, confessing (both personal sin and Jesus as Lord and Savior), and being baptized (Acts 2:38, 8:12, 10:47-48, Rom.10:9, etc.).
In baptism, a believer is immersed in water, demonstrating death and burial with Christ (Rom. 6:3-4), receives forgiveness of sin and the Holy Spirit as a gift (Acts 2:38), is resurrected (Col. 2:12) and clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27), and has ones’ sins washed away (Acts 22:16)—all because of God’s merciful, compassionate, and free gift of grace received by faith. Baptism represents the believer’s proper response in obedience to Christ— “…the pledge of a good conscience toward God” (1 Pet. 3:21). As an act of faithful obedience by the one who has placed their faith and life in Christ's hands, baptism in no way represents a “work” through which salvation is earned by any meritorious act or effort on the part of the believer (Eph. 2:8-10).
The Christian life does not end at conversion—it begins. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit brings new life and new joy. Every person who comes to the Father through Jesus (as just described) becomes a dynamic disciple-- personally dedicated to spiritual growth, Christian community, and Kingdom priorities. Once saved by grace, by grace we live.