NASHOTAH HOUSE STATEMENT OF IDENTITY
Adopted by the Board of Trustees, May 23, 2003
Nashotah House is a seminary of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion of Churches, providing theological education for prophetic, priestly, pastoral and servant ministries, concerned for the proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mission of the Church in the world, the salvation of all people, and the worship of Almighty God.
THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH
In grateful obedience to the Apostolic Tradition of Faith, Order, and Morals, as consistently proclaimed in Anglican tradition and formularies, this House affirms and confesses the historic faith and practice of the Church as it is set forth in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament together with the Apocrypha, as summarized in the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds, as proclaimed by the first seven ecumenical councils, and as embodied in the Book of Common Prayer, including the Articles of Religion and other documents contained in the “Historical Documents” section of the 1979 Prayer Book (BCP p. 863). We affirm the principles of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (BCP p. 876) as the basis for our present unity with our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion and for present and future relationships with all the divided branches of Christ’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
Therefore, the standard of teaching and practice of this House is belief in:
- …the mystery of the Triune God, who exists eternally as the Father, his only begotten Son, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father through the Son.
- …the Incarnation of God the Son, the ever living and subsistent Word of the Father, born of the Virgin Mary, fully God and fully Man, who lived a life of perfect obedience to His Father, died on the cross to atone for the sins of the world, and rose bodily in accordance with the Scriptures. While religions and philosophies of the world are not without significant elements of truth, Jesus Christ alone is the full revelation of God. In the Gospel, Jesus judges and corrects all views and doctrines. All persons everywhere need to learn of him, come to know and believe in him, and receive forgiveness and new life in him, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
- …the Holy Spirit draws us to faith in Jesus Christ, through whom alone we are justified and found acceptable by God the Father. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, moves the world to Christ, and fills the Church, sanctifying her members and enabling them to serve and praise the Father.
- …the revelation of God in Scripture, which is “God’s Word written,” the infallible rule for Christian faith and practice.
THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH
Believing that Jesus Christ founded the Church to give worship to God, to make saints of its members and to convert the world to faith in Christ, we are committed to:
- …a Catholic and Evangelical Worship centered in the daily celebration of the Eucharist and set within the framework of the Daily Office. We maintain the liturgical and devotional practices of the Catholic Revival within Anglicanism as well as contemporary expressions of evangelistic and informal worship. While upholding the Anglican conviction that worship is to be conducted in language understood by the people (Articles of Religion—XXIV, BCP, p. 874,) and that “every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church” (Articles of Religion, XXXIV, BCP p. 874), any innovations in liturgy must be faithful to the triune nature of God and the Person and work of Christ as revealed in scripture and upheld by catholic tradition.
- …a spiritual discipline for all our members which includes participation in the daily Eucharist, the regular recitation of the Divine Office and set times of scriptural and other spiritual reading and of personal meditation and contemplation. We are committed to a morality which opposes any form of prejudice in ourselves and others as well as any false notion of inclusivity that denies or minimizes the importance of natural differences, including sexual differences, within the created order. Thus we maintain that sexual relations are appropriate only between a man and a woman who have been united in Holy Matrimony. All are called to chastity: husbands and wives by exclusive sexual fidelity to one another and single persons by abstinence from sexual intercourse. In the corporate life of the House, we shall endeavor to fully support the family life of staff and students and to help each individual person develop his or her vocation and ministry within the life of the whole community. Believing that all human life is a sacred gift from God to be protected and defended from conception to natural death, we shall endeavor to bring the grace and compassion of Christ to any who are confronted with ethical decisions regarding abortion, reproductive technology, or terminal illness.
- …the Great Commission. The Risen Lord commissioned his disciples to preach the gospel and to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). The mission of the Church includes both evangelistic proclamation and deeds of love and service. Known originally as “The Mission”, Nashotah House re-commits itself and its resources to this mission, both locally and throughout the world. We affirm our particular responsibility to know, love, and serve the Lord in our local settings and contexts, to be well-informed about our local communities, and to be active in church planting, evangelism, service, social justice, and cross-cultural, international mission, with particular concern for the poor and the unreached people of our local communities and throughout the world. We shall endeavor to be well informed about our secular society and to seek effective ways to bring Christian social teaching and ethical principles to bear upon all spheres of our common life, including the public life of our nation.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
In training Episcopalians for priestly and other ministries of the Church, we desire to be supportive of congregations, dioceses, provinces, and the national structures of the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We invite all members of the Episcopal Church to join us in our commitment to classical Anglican teaching, and to stand with us for mutual enlightenment, encouragement, mission, and ministry.