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Theological Perspective

Northeastern Seminary welcomes students who seek to ground their thinking and practice in the Holy Scriptures, to understand the rich learning and nurture of classic Christian teaching, and to enter into significant conversation with the best of all Christian traditions, including those different than their own.

Our Heritage

The theological perspective Northeastern Seminary seeks to emulate can be traced to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Wesley provides an exceptional model of the theological method. He was immersed in the Holy Scriptures, acknowledged them as the supreme authority, and profusely used them in his writings with striking aptness. Likewise, Wesley's viewpoint was deeply rooted in classical Christianity. He loved the insights of the early Christian writers.

Further, Wesley drew widely from the rich resources of the entire Christian family, such as the late medieval saints and the Protestant reformers. Finally, we note Wesley's pastoral passion: his vision sought embodiment in a holistic Christian life that included personal piety and social action as well as sound doctrine.

Find out more about the history of Northeastern Seminary

Rootedness

To provide a theological education that is built upon the foundation of a deep, sustained engagement with biblical and historic Christianity

Responsiveness

To equip students to practice ministry that is wisely and faithfully responsive to the constantly changing contexts of our culture and world

Respect-filled Community

To affirm and learn from each person in our richly-diverse community of faith, regardless of such distinctives as denominational affiliation, ethnicity, gender, or age

Scholarship

To value the life of the mind, and so offer a carefully-designed, intentionally-integrated academic program that cultivates an aptitude for faithful theological reflection about the most central questions of life and ministry

Spiritual Formation

To affirm that the indispensable foundation for Christian ministry is a vital relationship with God through Christ, and so seek to provide a nurturing community in which genuine Christian faith can deepen and thrive

Service to the Church & the World

To believe that a theological seminary does not exist for its own sake, but exists rather to serve and resource the church of Jesus Christ

Acknowledgment of Doctrine

We acknowledge the centrality and authority of the Holy Scriptures. These works convey the revelation of God in an utterly unique way. Moses, the prophets, and the apostles, though ancient, speak an enduring and timely message. We aspire to know the text of the Bible-both in its breadth and depth and to discover the meaning and application of its message to our own day. We believe our theological discourse, our worship-both corporate and private, our professional work, and our personal conduct are to be shaped by God's Word.

We also embrace those understandings of the Scriptures that have always been treasured by the Church. The central teachings of such historic documents as the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds and, to a lesser degree, the Augsburg Confession, the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England, and the Articles of Religion of the Free Methodist Church provide indispensable guidance. So also do the great pastors and teachers of the historic church, such as Augustine, Aquinas, the Protestant reformers, and Wesley.

Finally, we apply the rule often attributed to Augustine, "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity." Thus, we heartily welcome students who come from various traditions. The vigorous, stimulating, and instructive discussion that takes place at Northeastern enables us to clarify, adjust, and think through our own understandings of theological issues as we measure them against the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.

Doctrines of Central Importance

There is but one living and true God, spiritual in nature and infinite in power, wisdom, and goodness; and in this Godhead, there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

God is the Creator and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible.

The only begotten Son of God, by whom all things were made, for us and for our salvation, was made flesh in Jesus of Nazareth by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Truly God, of one substance with the Father, and truly man, like us in all respects, yet without sin, our Lord Jesus Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried, was raised on the third day, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; he shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

The Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, is the Lord and Giver of life, who rules over human affairs and brings us to salvation by convicting, persuading, renewing, sanctifying, comforting, and, at the end of time, raising us from the dead as our Lord Jesus Christ was raised, and who together with the Father and the Son is to be worshipped and glorified.

The 39 books of the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures, and the 27 books of the New Testament belong to the universally-recognized Christian canon, of which there was never significant doubt. These Scriptures, inspired by the Holy Spirit, contain the teachings of Moses, the prophets, the apostles, and especially our Lord Jesus Christ. They are true and reliable and instruct us authoritatively about God, human nature, the way of salvation, and the life of faith. They contain all things necessary to our salvation so that whatever cannot be read in them or proved by them should not be required as an article of faith.

The Church was established by our Lord Jesus Christ through His ministry and His apostles, and He continues this ministry where there is a congregation of faithful persons in which the Scriptures, the Word of God, are rightly preached and the sacraments, the means of grace, are duly administered. Through its obedience to the Great Commission, our Lord constantly brings new persons into the church and nurtures them in the life of faith. Though presently divided, the Church transcends these divisions and is composed of the faithful on earth, the saints who are in the presence of Christ, and the heavenly hosts. Through the Holy Spirit, our Lord Jesus Christ constantly renews the Church as one: holy, catholic, and apostolic. At the end of time, He will present the Church unblemished to the Father.

Though humankind was created in the image of God and endowed with spiritual life, after the fall of Adam, we have all been born in sin, rebelled against God, and are very far gone from original righteousness. By ourselves we cannot turn and obey God; the Spirit of God must prepare us to seek forgiveness and spiritual renewal by awakening us from sin, calling us to repentance and faith, and graciously enabling us to do so.

By the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ, those who acknowledge their sinfulness, genuinely repent of their sins, and trust in Christ are undeservedly forgiven and put in a right relationship with God.

Through the work of the Holy Spirit, those who yield themselves to God and become obedient from the heart are transformed into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ, the last Adam.

We are to follow the instructions of the Scriptures that guide our conduct, the moral commandments of the Old Testament, particularly the Ten Commandments, the admonitions of the apostles, and especially the commandments of Christ. All of these are contained in the Great Commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbors as ourselves.

Lifestyle Statement

Northeastern Seminary seeks students whose lives are characterized by personal integrity and devotion to high academic and ethical standards. Applicants must present evidence of their readiness for graduate studies in theology. They must also meet additional admissions criteria including, but not limited to, quality of character, spiritual and acceptable conduct.

Northeastern Seminary is part of a Christian tradition that values diversity in thought and behavior but believes some practices in contemporary society do not represent the biblical ideal. The Seminary expects its students to refrain from questionable behaviors such as sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage, viewing pornography, and sexual harassment. The use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco are not permitted on the College campus or in Seminary-related activities.

Northeastern Seminary expects its faculty, staff, and students to respect the standards of the Seminary, and to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with them. It also encourages them to find positive and practical ways in which the Seminary can support and minister to the Northeastern Seminary community.

Accreditations and Authorizations

All degree programs at Northeastern Seminary are accredited and authorized by:

The Association of Theological Schools is a membership organization of graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate, professional, and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry, teaching, and research in the theological disciplines. Accreditations include Northeastern Seminary’s fully online programs for all master’s degrees.

The Commission on Accrediting from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada has approved the following degree programs for accreditation:

  • Masters of Arts
    • Theological Studies
    • Theology and Social Justice
    • Transformational Leadership
    • Ministry Practice
    • Spiritual Formation
  • Masters of Divinity
  • Doctor of Ministry

Contact:
The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
412.788.6505
www.ats.edu

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. This commission is accepted by the United States Secretary of Education for accrediting activities in the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including distance education and correspondence education programs offered at those institutions.

Contact:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104,
215.662.5606
info@msche.org
www.msche.org

Northeastern Seminary is authorized to offer distance-learning (online) programs and courses to residents of member states, districts, and territories under the terms of SARA.

Intended to make it is easier for students to take online courses offered by institutions outside of their state of residence, the agreement establishes comparable national standards for offering post-secondary distance education courses and programs. SARA is overseen by a national council and administered by four regional education compacts. 

Contact:
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
3005 Center Green Drive, Suite 130
Boulder, Colorado 80301
303.848.3275
info@nc-sara.org

Why Accreditation is Important

As you explore your seminary education options, keep in mind that accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) is an essential credential for any institution. The rigorous academic standards required by ATS will ensure that your credits will transfer to other graduate schools or that licensing bodies for denominations, hospital, military, and prison chaplains programs will accept your degree. Many seminary programs originate and offer programs from schools that lack accreditation.

Educational accreditation is a rigorous process by which an institution is evaluated by an external organization for educational quality and effectiveness. For graduate theological education, the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools serves as this accrediting agency. To be accredited, a school must undergo an initial review that examines a wide variety of factors, including library holdings, faculty quality, and financial stability. The ATS commissioners repeat this process on a regular basis to make sure each of its schools maintain an acceptable level of academic quality.

No other seminary in New York has more accreditation than Northeastern Seminary to guarantee the quality of your theological education. Northeastern Seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and Middle States Commission of Higher Education.