Greenville College empowers students for lives of character and service through a transforming Christ-centered education in the liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies.
Greenville College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences founded by the Free Methodist Church and committed to the following description of our theological character.
As Christians, we believe that God exists and is presently and actively engaged in the lives of people. Though we employ terms such as wonderful, powerful, righteous, loving, all-knowing, merciful, and holy to describe God, none of them alone, or even in total, can completely capture the identity of God. Because that identity must be both experienced and learned, we commit ourselves to a living and learning environment which nurtures the whole person. We affirm that, as God's creatures, persons are endowed with the ability to respond to, and ultimately to know and achieve intimacy with God. This intimacy with God results in life growing ever more harmonious with God's nature, which can be described in terms of goodness, beauty, truthfulness, freedom and love. Because these qualities transcend all cultural, historical, and ethnic boundaries, Greenville College seeks to do the same.
We have seen that humanity does not live in harmony with God, and we seek to understand why. We believe that God is helping us to gain this knowledge, both through revelation and by discovery in that which God has done in history and has made in creation. Refusal to embrace this revelation and to begin the journey of discovery are at the root of humanity's problem. This problem has traditionally been defined as sin and can be best understood in terms of its consequences: alienation in all relationships, captivity to sin, and a darkened heart and mind. Death is the ultimate experience of this alienation and darkness. We understand that the person of Jesus Christ is the revelation of God, and the work of Christ redeems all creation, dispels the darkness of ignorance, frees people from captivity to sin, and restores all relationships. All this is mediated through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, holding the hope of redemption and life for humankind.
These affirmations lead us to embrace a Christianity that is best defined as orthodox. Orthodox Christianity, holding to what might be described as a central consensus among Christians of all times and cultures, affirms that:
We believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. We believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.
We are confident that affirming the Apostles' Creed is completely necessary and adequate for one to claim to be fully Christian.
In order to define how we at Greenville have and are working out our faith in practice, it must be understood that we are the willing, and sometimes unwilling, inheritors of a number of religious impulses and traditions including orthodox Christianity, the Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Puritan ethos, an Evangelical tradition, the Anglican/Methodist tradition, the Pentecostal/Holiness impulse, and American Revivalism.
As such, let it be understood that we embrace the Bible as the authoritative rule for faith and life, the historic forms and rituals of the church, the evangelical missionary impulse which preaches the gospel of Jesus, the continuing search for truth in all arenas, the affirmation of the good, the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the active ministry of the Holy Spirit in the lives of all people, the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty, the ministry of love through works of service and mercy as the goal of Christian practice, the struggle for freedom and justice in all parts of the earth, and the necessity of an individual encounter with and commitment to God in Christ.
Philosophy of Education
Reality: We understand God to be personal-the creator and ruler of an orderly, dynamic universe. Through this universe God's eternal purposes, meaning, creativity, and loving care are expressed.Knowledge: We learn about reality through observation, thought, and a scholarly and disciplined search for truth. We then perceive reality's ultimate meaning in and through God and through His creation. The fullest information about God's person and purposes appears in God's self-revelation in redemptive acts-in Hebrew history and in the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ-as recorded and interpreted in the Bible. God's dealings are always primarily relational, first through God's choosing of a people and later through the establishment of the church. God continues to be at work in the world through His creation and through the instrument of the church in the power of the Holy Spirit, calling people individually and collectively into a saving experience. To learn, throughout our lives, we must do more than gain knowledge.
We must also integrate our knowledge with the adaptive coping skills-skills which we develop through our life experiences and temper by spiritual discernment. As we watch our community's leaders and members integrating the outcomes of their moral choices, we learn from our own faith-based choices. From these people we can learn to serve by leading, and to lead by serving. Their habits of heart and mind serve as models for our own. As we create our unique spiritual, cognitive, and psycho-social synthesis, our Christian learning community encourages and supports us. In such a community, both the curricular and co-curricular experiences can help us develop into servant leaders.Humanness: We humans are created in the image of God, and are therefore of inestimable value. We further understand that this image is found across cultures, ethnic and racial groups, and social class. But because we are bound by sin, we have become estranged from God and neighbor, and our lives are distorted. Yet God, out of infinite mercy, offers us salvation and reconciliation in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. As a result, all who profess belief in Christ are called to seek the fullness of the Spirit and to live lives of wholeness and grace through the power of the Holy Spirit.As bearers of God's image, humans retain certain qualities and responsibilities. These qualities include complex rational capabilities, systematic and powerful skills of investigation, and the capacity for compelling ethical and aesthetic insights.
And because we are social in both our nature and our circumstance, we bear a responsibility to live as a functional part of society in its diverse manifestations. This requires sensitivity to culture, ethnicity, race, gender, religious tradition and practice, and social class. In addition we should live redemptively, pointing others to Christ, to the church, and to the Christian worldview.
Value: We value righteousness, which we understand to be obedience to God and His revelation. The essence of this obedience is captured in the Christian ideals of character and calling.Regarding character, we prize:
o commitment to God through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ,
o respect for all creation,
o respect for persons as they have been variously created by God,
o personal freedom and the acceptance of responsibility for the personal and social consequences which result from the exercise of this freedom, and
o obedience to the teachings of Christ and the apostolic tradition, and to the Spirit of God at work in the life of the individual and the church.With respect to calling, we embrace:
o the responsibility of each believer to live a life of full service in and through the church-the Body of Christ;
o the wholeness of life and our dual obligations to affirm all that is true, good, and beautiful and to exercise stewardship over all of creation;
o the ethics of love and the responsibility for bringing good news and personal relief to all, with special care for the poor and downtrodden, and
o the necessity of the indwelling Spirit of God if we expect our lives of ministry and service to have either substance or effectiveness.
Based on our assumptions about reality, knowledge, humanness, and value, Greenville College pursues certain objectives. Our pursuit unifies both spiritual and academic aims, in an effort to minister to the whole person.
Institutional Goals and Objectives
The College has committed itself to education for character and service. Therefore, through our curriculum and co-curriculum, we intend that each graduate:
Growing and Learning Together Lifestyle Statement
Greenville College is a community in which individuals join together to further their academic achievement, personal development, and spiritual growth. Together we seek to honor Christ by integrating faith and learning while our hearts and lives reflect mature Christian practice.
This statement explains the principles and the expectations that help us live together and meet institutional objectives. We acknowledge that it is impossible to create expectations that fully satisfy every member. Nevertheless, certain expectations bring order to community life. When individuals join Greenville College, they freely and willingly choose to take upon themselves the responsibilities outlined in this statement.
1. Loving God and being accountable to Him are the primary motivations for Christian relationships and behavior.
2. The Bible is our authority; it provides the essential teachings and principles for personal and community conduct.
3. God, through the Holy Spirit, places in every believer the inner resources and attributes to minister to others through supportive relationships.
4. Members of this community are either committed to Christ or are at least sympathetic with a Christian perspective. They also desire to achieve a liberal arts education in an evangelical Christian context.
5. A well-trained faculty and a competent staff, equipped with facilities and materials necessary for effective work, stand ready to help you become a whole person.
RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RELATIONSHIPSLiving in daily fellowship with others is a privilege and an expression of God’s grace. In recognition of this privilege, we place great value on the quality of relationships in our community. We acknowledge that we live in a fellowship where we depend on and are accountable to one another. The New Testament word for fellowship is KOINONIA. It is translated as PARTAKER, COMMUNION, COMMUNICATION, CONTRIBUTION, DISTRIBUTION. Members, therefore, are encouraged to seek as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate KOINONIA.
Within our community the greatest expression of fellowship and the highest principle for relationships is love. As Scripture states:
"We should love one another. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions as in truth. Since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. Whoever loves God must also love his brothers." (1John 3:11-16, 18; 4:11, 21 NIV)
In order for growth to occur, we have identified the following specific expressions of love among the most desirable in our relationships.
SERVING ONE ANOTHEREach member of the community is expected to strive consciously to maintain relationships that support, encourage, and help others.
"We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up." (Romans 15:1-2, NIV)
SUPPORTING ONE ANOTHERWe are responsible to support those experiencing grief, discouragement, illness, tragedy, and other personal trials. Expressions of bearing one another’s burdens include comfort, consolation, encouragement, and intercession.
Difficulties in relationships can occur because of our humanness. In such cases we are to respond as Scripture states:
“…clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:12 NIV)
RESOLVING PROBLEMSSpeaking the truth to each other in love can strengthen our community. We can often resolve problems of relationships and behavior by constructively confronting one another in an appropriate spirit. If the welfare of the one confronted is paramount and if the confronter acts in love, growth can result.
HEALING OF RELATIONSHIPSHealing broken relationships is necessary for healthy community. When persons or groups have been hurt, regardless of the reason, we are expected to reach out to one another, to forgive one another, to restore relationships, and to make restitution.
“…and He (Christ) has given us the ministry of reconciliation…and He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (II Corinthians 5:18-19 NIV)
Implementing the above expressions of love in relationships requires sensitivity to others and continual effort. It also requires that we love others as we love ourselves. Relationships of this quality enrich our lives and community, honor God, and assist in meeting the goals of the College.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR BEHAVIORBIBLICAL EXPECTATIONSScripture teaches that certain attributes are available to all individuals through the Holy Spirit. These attributes include “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-24, NIV). This “fruit of the Spirit” is to be sought, nurtured, and demonstrated in our relationships.
In contrast to encouraging these positive attributes, Scripture condemns such things as greed, jealousy, pride, lust, needless anger, an unforgiving spirit, harmful discrimination, and prejudice based on race, sex, or socioeconomic status.
Scripture also prohibits certain behaviors and community members should avoid them. They include backbiting, cheating, dishonesty, drunkenness, gossip, immodesty of dress, lying, occult practices, profanity, sexual promiscuity (including adultery, homosexual behavior, pre-marital sex), theft, and vulgarity (including crude language).
In keeping with Scriptural admonitions to bring ourselves under the authority of government, members of the Greenville College community are expected to uphold the laws of the local community, the state of Illinois, and the nation, except for those rare occasions in which obedience to the civil authority would require behavior that conflicts with the teaching of Scripture. On such occasions, each individual would submit voluntarily to the civil penalty for his/her behavior. Behavior resulting in civil arrest on or off campus is subject to review within the College’s disciplinary procedures.
COLLEGE EXPECTATIONSIn addition to Biblical expectations, members of the Greenville College community voluntarily commit themselves to the following standards of behavior. This commitment results from the conviction that these standards serve the good of the individual as well as the total community. These standards are not presented as absolutes or as an index of Christian spirituality, but rather as expectations of this community. Because of the importance of trust in and responsibility to one another, violations of these standards are seen as a serious breach of integrity within the community.
The following standards apply to students, faculty, and administrators at Greenville College and all agree to uphold them:
o Members are also expected not to abuse the use of legal substances.
SUMMARYThe intent of this statement is to identify expectations and responsibilities that assist Greenville College to function as a Christian community and to achieve goals as an institution of higher learning. This statement addresses relationships and behavior. These emphases are parallel and vital to the quality of our lives together. The behavior part of the statement includes standards that are specific to the College. These standards are important and must be consistently maintained to assure a proper climate for growing and learning. These standards need to be kept in perspective with the Biblical responsibilities for relationships and behavior.
The book of Colossians provides an appropriate summary of the goals for our community:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father…” (Colossians 3:12-17, NIV)
As long as you are a member of the Greenville College community, you are responsible for implementing these stated expectations. Your signature on the application attests that you understand and are willing to comply with the expectations and responsibilities.
I have read and am in agreement with and supportive of the College Mission, Theological Assumptions, Philosophy of Education, Institutional Goals and Objectives, and the College Lifestyle Statement. I understand that if I accept employment at Greenville College I will adhere to these standards at all times and wholeheartedly support the entire program of the institution.
The information I have provided in the Application for Employment is true, correct and complete. Any inaccurate information reflected in this Application for Employment may lead to my dismissal from employment if I am hired and any inaccuracy is discovered.
I understand that acceptance of an offer of employment does not create a contractual obligation upon the employer to continue to employ me in the future.
I give Greenville College permission to examine my references, record of employment, education record, and any other information. I authorize the references I have listed to disclose any information related to my work record and my professional experiences with them, without giving me prior notice of such disclosure. In addition, I release Greenville College, my former employers and all other persons, corporations, partnerships and associations from any and all claims, demands or liabilities arising out of or in any way related to such examination or revelation.