Hesston College Philosophy of Faith Formation

photo of a student in a focus group setting

Integrating thought, life and faith for service in the church and the world is part of our mission statement and important to all we do at Hesston College. One of our college outcomes is “Persons who understand Faith through an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective.” There are many activities and practices in this Christ-centered community that contribute to this integration, and particularly to the development of faith. Last fall, we set about developing a philosophy statement that would honestly reflect how we go about encouraging faith formation at Hesston College. This effort was led by the Hesston Experience Team and draft statements were tested and revised with the benefit of faculty and staff, our Bible Department, pastors and alumni. It has been reviewed and is being used by faculty and Student Development personnel. The statement that is offered here is both reflective of what we do and aspirational in what we hope to do more fully. It helps us to explain ourselves as well as hold ourselves to a standard. It will serve as a working document, guiding our efforts in the coming years.
                – President Howard Keim

Students, faculty and staff at Hesston College are in the process of becoming the person God created them to be, a person made and growing in God’s image. We believe a person is most able to grow when they have a sense of belonging.

Hesston College educates and nurtures students in Christ-centered community marked by radical, loving acceptance with an invitation for each member to grow, change and be formed in the image of Jesus Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Christ-centered community practices obedience to Jesus, the full revelation of God, in all of life. As Christ works through this obedience, members of the community are transformed in Jesus’ image. A transformed community makes known the Kingdom of God on earth as in heaven. We fulfill this mission in everything we do. We meet students where they are, encourage their curiosity with and growth in Christ and introduce them to the core beliefs of following Jesus through an Anabaptist-Mennonite perspective:

Jesus is the center of our faith
When empowered by the Holy Spirit, we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, interpret the Bible from a Christ-centered point of view and follow Jesus in daily life.
Community is the center of our life
When empowered by the Holy Spirit, we practice encouragement and forgiveness. We learn from each other and interpret scripture together.
Reconciliation is the center of our work
When empowered by the Holy Spirit, we help people make peace with God and each other and serve as God’s ambassadors of reconciliation in the world, making visible God’s Kingdom.

We introduce all students to an Anabaptist-Mennonite way of knowing and following Jesus while we respect all students’ backgrounds and encourage faithfulness to God regardless of the faith tradition from which each comes. We invite each student to experience Christ-centered community, to explore the question “is Jesus Christ who he says he is?” and to consider the role of forgiveness and reconciliation in one’s own life and in the life of one’s family and community.