In accordance with its stated purpose and its concern for truth, Amridge University is firmly committed to furthering the teaching and practice of Christianity. The University presents fairly all significant viewpoints on major issues and promotes freedom of inquiry. However, certain key positions are firmly established by Biblical evidence, and we believe should be upheld.
Between 30-40% of Amridge University’s student body are from various religious faiths. Students are free to formulate individual positions. No one is required to sign a creedal statement of belief. Amridge University is happy to have students from various religious backgrounds enrolled in its courses.
The University’s understanding of the Christian religion includes the following tenets about its source of authority, central doctrines, polity and worship of the church, and the conduct of the Christian life. Both the Old and New Testaments have been given by divine revelation and are the standard of authority in religious matters.
The Old Testament prepared the way for Christ, and the New Testament fulfills and supersedes it, making the New Testament the final authority for those who have lived since Christ’s death on the cross. There is one God, who is the creator and sustainer of the universe and who takes a direct interest in every human being. The Godhead consists of God the Father; Christ the Son; and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Christ was born of a virgin, died on the cross to make atonement for man’s sins, arose bodily from the tomb, and ascended into heaven, where he presently reigns. There is a heaven to be enjoyed by the faithful and a hell to be endured by the disobedient.
God created all people with a need for fellowship with him and the ability to choose to obey his commands. Man cannot earn salvation from sin but can qualify to receive it as a gift of grace through submission to the will of God. The scripturally appointed means for receiving this gift is faith in Christ, repentance, confession of faith, and baptism (immersion).
The transformation in character, conduct, and relationship with God that man experiences in this process is the new birth (regeneration). Christians are expected to live in accordance with the teachings of the New Testament.
Christ established the church for the mutual encouragement, instruction, and assistance of Christians and for the evangelization of the world through the proclamation of His gospel. Jesus prayed for unity among his disciples and commanded love for one another as the means to maintain it.
The church was originally organized so that, once the apostles passed away, individual congregations would be independent of any central human authority and would be guided solely by the unchanging standard of Scripture. Congregations are to be bound together by common purpose and cooperative effort.
Each congregation is to assemble for worship on every first day of the week according to the teachings of the New Testament. In contrast to the elaborate temple ritual of the Old Testament, worship in the Christian age is to be in spirit and truth. Accordingly, the worship of the New Testament church consists of teaching God’s word, offering prayers and thanksgiving from the heart, singing praise to God and encouragement to one another with the human voice, voluntary giving as a means of expressing appreciation to God for his blessings and sharing them with others, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper in commemoration of Christ’s death. Genuine charismatic gifts, such as prophecy, speaking in foreign languages, and miraculous healing, were exercised in the first century but not perpetuated afterward.
On the basis of principles established at creation, the New Testament assigns roles of leadership in public worship and supervision of the local congregation to male Christians. The scriptural organization of the local congregation consists of a plurality of elders (also called bishops or shepherds), who have oversight of the church; deacons, who assist the elders in ministering to the needs of members; and evangelists, who proclaim the gospel and teach under the authority of the elders.
The offices of apostle and prophet ended with the passing of the miraculous age of charismatic gifts. Women are a powerful force in the church through the influence of their character and spiritual insights and through their efforts in teaching other women and children, helping the needy, and engaging in personal evangelism.
Christianity as taught by Christ and the apostles provides for the needs of the individual, the family, and society. An understanding of God’s sacrificial love enables each person to recognize his worth and potential in the sight of God, relieves his guilt and anxiety, and motivates him to conduct his life according to the highest standards.
The example of Christ fosters humility, submission to authority, and service to others. Through its teaching, its communal worship, its fellowship, and its mission of evangelism and benevolence, the church strengthens both individuals and families and has a strong impact for good wherever its efforts and influence reach.
[Written by Lawrence E. Barclay, Faculty Member, the Amridge University Turner School of Theology]
Note: Amridge University is an academic institution, not a church. Bible classes at Amridge University are not worship or devotional services, but an educational environment for interaction between student and teacher.