PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
- The VACU is a Bible University; the Bible is the heart of the curriculum, in contrast to a program that is essentially philosophical or sociological. The absolute inerrancy and authority of the Scripture are paramount. Because we emphasize the primacy of the Word of God, we believe that the tools of exegesis are essential in preparing students for the ministry, so that they may become capable expositors of the Word of God.
- The doctrinal distinctive of the VACU (see Doctrinal Position), rooted in a proper exegesis of the Scripture, are regarded as “ absolutes”, and they are to be upheld as such by the faculty and communicated clearly to each student.
- We are aware that teaching sound doctrine alone is not enough. This doctrine must be translated into practical Christian service. Therefore, our faculty must not only be highly qualified in academics and instructional methodologies, but they also must be excellent spiritual and moral examples. Recognizing the limitations of a primarily academic setting, we seek to instill within the student a deep love for God and His Word, a heart for evangelism and missions, and the integration of biblical teaching and values into every aspect of life. We also believe that it is imperative for students to be involved in practical “hands-on” ministry and mission to complement their university studies.
- The primacy mission of VACU is to provide quality collegiate education. The VACU is a Christian academic community in the tradition of evangelical institutions of higher education. As such, VACU continues the philosophy of education which first gave rise to the university, summarized in the following proposition; God, the infinite source of all things, has shown us truth through Christ in nature, history, and, above all, in Scripture. Persons are spiritual, rational, moral, social and physical, created in the image of God. They are, therefore, able to know and to value themselves and other persons, the universe and God.
Education as the process of teaching and leaning, involves the whole person, developing the knowledge, values, and skills which enable the individual to change freely.
INSTITUTIONAL CORE VALUES & GOALS
Believing that the Church is constantly in need of a sound ministry, committed to the Bible and the Confessional Standards of the church, VACU is dedicated to the following distinctive principles:
- Belief in the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture resulting in an inerrant Word as it was originally given by God, and, therefore, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
- Belief in the Reformed Faith as set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. VACU stands firmly on these historic confessional standards as they set forth the biblical faith. Full subscription to the whole of these Standards is the position of VACU.
- Belief in the Great Commission as the one and only mission of the Church. The Christian individually and in association with others, has obligations to function in all spheres of life by developing and practicing the full implications of the Christian world and life view in every human relationship and in all aspects of life and society under the Lordship of Christ.
- Belief in Dynamic Spiritual Emphasis as a student must be walking in fellowship with God (the Holy Spirit) so that he or she can be taught by the Holy Spirit. The cultivation of the spiritual life is inseparably fused with the scholarly study of biblical and related subjects, thus providing an unusual classroom climate and a distinct theological education. All this is designed to prepare students to communicate the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Belief in Strong Commitment to Missions: VACU is firmly committed to promoting the missionary enterprise throughout the world. This Commitment is demonstrated in a variety of ways that provide exposure for students to the diverse nature of missions and the unique opportunities for career service in missions.
- Emphasis on the practical as well as the theological aspects of ministry. VACU believes that learning “how” to minister is as important as learning “what” to minister, and therefore trains as well as instructs. (Mat.28:19-20).
- Committed to developing students for a ministry and service attitude as evidenced by preparing them both academically and experientially to serve Jesus Christ in the Church and society.
CORE STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME
Each graduate of Virginia Christian University will be able to:
- Demonstrate a sound knowledge of the Scriptures, as evidenced by successful completion of the coursework within the program and improved scores on a standardized Bible test.
- Define and systematically summarize one’s theological understanding as evidenced by a comprehensive, personal statement of faith.
- Present a reasoned defense of one’s beliefs that is intellectually and rationally sound.
- Apply biblical principles in his lifestyle and ministry internship so that he might exhibit godly character, as assessed by the college faculty.
- Analyze and identify effective methods of discovering biblical truth from the Scriptures in order to produce a disciplined system of lifelong learning skills.
- Communicate effectively the Gospel through sermons, Bible studies, and/or witnessing, in the context of his gifts and calling, whether at home or on the mission field. The code of conduct states the kind of lifestyle expected of trustees, administrators, faculty, and students.
- Stimulate a spirit of inquiry, investigation and critical thinking so that they can be able to defend their faith and biblical truth for the expansion of the Kingdom of God.