Statement of Faith
Westmont College is a liberal arts college committed to Jesus Christ and belonging to the worldwide evangelical Protestant tradition. In that tradition, the college's trustees, administrators, and faculty participate in many different churches and with them confess such historic statements of the church as the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed. In faithfulness to God, who is the source of truth, and under the authority of Scripture, we joyfully and humbly affirm the following articles of faith, which guide our learning, teaching, and living.
Articles of Faith
We believe in God
The Lord our God alone is God, holy and loving, revealing in creation and in Jesus Christ God's own power and glory, grace and mercy. The Lord our God alone is God, just and true, perfect in being and trustworthy in action.
The Lord our God is infinite and beyond imagination; our minds can never fully know God nor our hearts completely grasp his ways. The Lord our God is faithful and steadfast, unfailing in word and deed.
The Lord our God is Triune-one being in three persons-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in co-equal, co-eternal communion. The Lord our God, Creator and Sustainer of all that is, redeems the world from its fallenness and consummates his saving work in a new heaven and a new earth.
. . . the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
God the Father is the source of all that is good. He is Father to his eternal Son, Jesus Christ, and to all who are adopted as his sons and daughters through faith in Jesus Christ. He has sovereignty over us, affection toward us, and glory for us.
God the Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ-one person in two natures, fully human and fully divine-who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. In his life and in his death on the cross he conquered the powers of darkness, paid the penalty for our sin, and demonstrated God's love for the world. In his bodily resurrection his life and death are vindicated, and he is revealed to be the only judge and redeemer of the world. He intercedes for us now before the Father and will return in glory.
God the Holy Spirit is Lord and Life-Giver, the one who empowered Jesus Christ and who empowers his people to continue God's work today. God the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, brings us to faith in Jesus Christ, and conforms us to the image of Christ. The Spirit inspired the authors of Scripture and guides the church in faithful translation and interpretation. The Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is God-breathed and true, without error in all that it teaches; it is the supreme authority and only infallible guide for Christian faith and conduct-teaching, rebuking, and training us in righteousness.
. . . the Author of our salvation
God created humankind for unbroken relationship with God, one another, and the rest of creation. Through Adam's disobedience, we fell into sin and now suffer alienation and brokenness. The effects of sin are so pervasive that apart from God's grace we are lost and dead. Only by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ are we saved and made alive.
In bringing us to faith in Jesus Christ, the Spirit incorporates us into the body of Christ, his church, the community of all believers in heaven and on earth. The church is called to bear witness to Christ among the nations by praising God, preaching the good news, discipling believers, healing the sick, serving the poor, setting free the oppressed, and caring for creation. The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit empower the church for this mission.
Jesus Christ will return one day in his glorified body to judge the living and the dead. Those who do not believe in him will be raised to suffer forever a just punishment. Those who believe in him will be transformed, their bodies raised imperishable and incorruptible, to live and reign with him forever in a new heaven and a new earth in which there will be all that is good and true and beautiful, but no sorrow, no tears, and no evil thing.
And so we pray: Come, Lord Jesus.
Even these declarations of faith do not define in detail what an individual Christian might believe in many important areas of doctrine and theology. Moreover, as a college seeking to serve evangelical Christians from many denominations, we feel less of an obligation to decide these various points in detail than we do to celebrate not only our unity in Jesus Christ but also our freedom to disagree, and to continue grappling in the many non-essential elements of our faith.