Commitment to Life and Service in the Society of Scholar-Priests
We affirm the apostolic hope.
We affirm Jesus Christ as the source of our hope. We pray that we may be formed by the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and coming again of Jesus Christ, through the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are sent forth to proclaim and to live the hope that the Good News brings.
We serve the Body of Christ, the Church, in our vocation as scholar-priests.
We believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and that we are called to worship, learning, community, and service as members of that Body. We affirm our fidelity to oneness in Christ in the Church truly catholic and apostolic. As scholar-priests we believe that the pastoral vocation is made more vibrant when deeply informed by scholarly study; that scholarly work is both its own offering of faithful praise to God and that it is made more perfect in conversation with the demands of parish life.
In all things, pastoral, scholarly, and personal, we pray that we may do nothing apart from the desire to please God and that the pattern of our lives may always point to the Crucified and Risen Christ.
We are committed to serve the Church.
As priests we are deeply involved in the lives of our parishioners and parishes. As we have been called and ordained, we strive “to love and serve the people among whom we work, caring alike for young and old, strong and weak, rich and poor,” to “preach, to declare God’s forgiveness to penitent sinners, to pronounce God’s blessing, to preside at the administration of holy baptism and at the celebration of the mysteries of Christ’s body and blood, and to perform the other ministrations” entrusted to us.
We live out our ecclesial commitments in conversation with the broader Church: past, present, and future.
As ordained scholars we are deeply involved in study, research, and writing. As we have been called and formed for this ministry, we strive to find the great truth among the many voices, to discern the lasting foundations of the faith, and to contribute to the ongoing tradition to which those who follow us will turn as their faith seeks understanding.
We affirm that God and our Church are best served when we operate out of three principles:
1. We are rooted in Scripture and Tradition as an orientation, and attitude, and a practice. As an orientation, our common life is grounded in the center of Christian witness through time. As an attitude, it encompasses both trust and and openness to creativity and critique. As a practice, it is rooted in the individual and corporate practices of daily life and prayer that have shaped our fathers and mothers in faith: Daily Prayer, regular Eucharist, Confession, Reconciliation, and study.
2. We are unlearning partisanship. As a Society, we hope to seek out and forge community through mutual dialog between scholar-priests of many backgrounds and affinities. This commitment means that we will attend to our unity in our disagreements as reasonable people encounter Scripture and Tradition together.
3. We are oriented to wise action. As scholar-priests we seek to create a space for respectful, scholarly, and charitable speech. We hope to find creative ways to take our place in the Church, in such a way that we fulfill our vocations—and in such a way that our parishes, dioceses, and beyond can grow in faith, hope, and love together. From academic reading and writing to preaching, adult education, and vestry leadership, we work to help each other to fulfill our vocations.