THE DISTINCTIVES OF BIBLICAL LIVING
At Master’s we believe in the education of the whole student. This takes place inside and outside the classroom. We want to educate the heart as well as the mind. As a complement to the work of the faculty, the Residence Life Department exists to facilitate the education of the heart outside of the classroom. We desire to maintain an atmosphere that will be conducive to the development of spiritual maturity and discernment. Because each student who comes to The Master’s University professes faith in Jesus Christ, we expect students to grow in that faith through the work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that our commitment to foundational distinctives found in God’s Word helps us minister to students as they grow to be more like the Master.
The undergraduate experience encompasses the whole person, developing biblical wisdom that is applied to every academic discipline and detail of life. Christian higher education far exceeds the acquisition of intellectual knowledge. A distinctive Christian higher education promotes comprehensive Christian life within a believing community to harmonize what a student is learning inside the classroom to what the student lives outside the classroom.
The Master’s University emphasizes four fundamental biblical principles that promote a student’s comprehensive spiritual development. These distinctives flow out of the University’s mission statement and influence all our strategies and programs. The distinctives are not an exhaustive list of dynamics relating to the Christian life, rather they are select, interrelated principles, which compose the essential philosophy of how The Master’s University encourages students to live and develop distinctively biblical lives during their University years and beyond. These distinctives are:
These distinctives are individually defined by several interrelated biblical principles. The collective result is a framework for developing a distinctively Christian life. A review of these biblical truths will inform how the policies and procedures of Residence Life are shaped.
1. DIVINE AUTHORITY Every expression and pursuit of the Christian life (renewing of the mind, prayer, worship, sanctification, evangelism, etc.) is empowered and experienced from Him, to Him, and through Him. We view spiritual development under the direct oversight of Divine authority. The distinctive of DIVINE AUTHORITY is defined by the interrelated biblical principles of SOVEREIGN LORDSHIP, SUFFICIENT WORD, and SUBMISSIVE DEPENDENCY.
‣ SOVEREIGN LORDSHIP: Christ is sovereign Lord over all creation and reigns as the authoritative head of the church. As the mediator of the New Covenant, His comprehensive rule is the powerful authority by which a distinctive Christian life is experienced and directed. (Job 42:2; Romans 11:36; 14:7-12; Ephesians 1:16-23; Romans 13:1-2). Questions for Reflection: What does it truly mean to submit to the Lordship of Christ on a daily basis? Reflect upon who you are most accountable to, and relate that to your accountability to God. Is Christ the ultimate authority in your life?
‣ SUFFICIENT WORD: Scripture is the Word of God to man and is sufficient to address everything pertaining to life and godliness without error or equal. It stands as the authoritative standard by which truth and error are both revealed and understood. Scripture alone is the authoritative revelation by which a distinctive Christian life is guided. (Psalm 19:7-14; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:3-11). Questions for Reflection: How does the sufficiency of Scripture shape your decision making on a daily basis? How do the scriptures relate to being discerning and wise? Are you governed increasingly by God’s Word?
‣ SUBMISSIVE DEPENDENCY: Development of the whole student in community is a supernatural experience in the human condition. The Christian life is exclusively dependent upon the empowering grace of God to realize the submissive obedience required by divine authority. (Numbers 11:16-30; John 14:16-17; Galatians 2:20-21; Titus 2:11-14). Questions for Reflection: What are some practical ways that you can depend upon the grace of God while striving for loving obedience to His Word? What does your prayer life look like? How do you cultivate a life that is “walking in the Spirit”?
2. HEART TRANSFORMATION A superficial change in external behavior is not the authenticating mark of a distinctively biblical life. The Master’s University desires to see genuine change in the student’s life that is sustainably rooted in the transformation of his or her intellect, affections, and resolve. By focusing on what the Bible describes as the heart, we can confidently exhort and encourage a student’s comprehensive development without reverting to legalistic methodologies. The distinctive of HEART TRANSFORMATION is defined by the interrelated biblical principles of LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP, POSTURE OF REPENTANCE, and LOVE.
‣ LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP: Our priorities and actions flow out of a heart of worship. Within the fellowship of believers, spiritual development is realized as the hearts of the people unite in worshiping the true God over counterfeit ones. This commitment views everything in life as an opportunity to glorify the Lord and find satisfaction in Him. (Deuteronomy 6:5; I Corinthians 10:31; John 4:21-24). Questions for Reflection: Where do acts of worship begin? Everything we do either worships God or something that is not God; what keeps your heart aware and active in pursuing all things as an act of worship that is pleasing to God? What would you say to someone who believed that worship was only for local church services?
‣ POSTURE OF REPENTANCE: Though our hearts are transformed at the moment of regeneration, the believer continues to grow in godliness through the process of progressive sanctification. The sanctification process includes a posture of repentance—turning away from sinful desires and actions and refocusing our affections on the one true God. The fruit of sanctification is seen in visible acts of obedience that flow from a heart that loves the Lord. (Psalm 51; II Corinthians 7:9-11; I John 1:9-2:6). Questions for Reflection: Do you grieve over your sin? Are you quick to repent? Would you characterize yourself as a teachable person? How you can cultivate a posture of repentance in your life?
‣ LOVE: There is a direct connection between a heart of love and the distinctive Christian life. Love is the greatest commandment and the foundational heart motivation by which believers can comprehend and experience all that is revealed in Scripture. (Matthew 22:34-40; I Corinthians 13:1-3; I John 4:7-21). Questions for Reflection: What does it mean to love someone as defined in Scripture? What would encourage your loving pursuit of God and others? What are some practical ways you can flee from the sin of partiality?
3. SANCTIFYING RELATIONSHIPS
Relationships are the context by which a student’s distinctively biblical life is cultivated and experienced. We reject hyper-individualism and promote a sanctified pursuit of friendships that are committed to mortifying sin while seeking personal holiness in everyday life. The distinctive of RELATIONSHIPS is defined by the interrelated biblical principles of BELONGING TOGETHER, INTER- PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP, and RESTORATION.
‣ BELONGING TOGETHER: A distinctive Christian life is not lived in independent isolation. The people of God are characterized by their relational interconnectedness in spirit and life. Comprehensive student development that is distinctively biblical occurs within the context of relationships committed to experiencing the realities of the Christian life to the glory of God. (Genesis 1:27; I Corinthians 12; Hebrews 10:19-25; Ephesians 2:14-21). Questions for Reflection: What are some practical ways you can fight against independence and pursue knowing and being known by those around you? Do you need other people in your life to grow spiritually? Why or why not? In what ways are you promoting the biblical “one-another’s” around you?
‣ INTER-PERSONAL DISCIPLESHIP: The purpose of relationships in a believing community is to encourage one another towards Christ-likeness by the grace of God and according to His Word. This process of mutual sanctification occurs by interpersonal pursuit of one another to advance the knowledge of Christ into everyday life. (Matthew 28:16-20; II Timothy 2:2; Titus 2:1-10; I Corinthians 11:1). Questions for Reflection: Who are you going to pursue discipleship with this year? Who are you seeking to be discipled by this year? What are some practical strategies to promote discipleship in your life and the lives of those around you?
‣ RESTORATION: Relationships focused on progressing in Christ-likeness includes the exhortation to mortify sinful dispositions and actions. The journey of dealing with sin, repentance, and restoration cannot be excluded from the process of spiritual development in a believing community. (II Samuel 12:1-15; Proverbs 27:5-6; Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1- 5; Colossians 3:16-17). Questions for Reflection: Are you faithful to confront sin in love to those around you? What is difficult about this biblical principle, and how do those concerns relate to our responsibility as believers to one another? What are some biblical encouragements and exhortations that help you remain faithful in this area?
4. GOSPEL WITNESS
A distinctively biblical life has the primary purpose of reflecting and magnifying the redemptive work of Christ to the world. It is the responsibility of every believer to steward the truth of the Gospel in both word and deed. This commitment postures every student to proclaim the Truth to their generation within the context of God’s unfolding plan of redemption. The distinctive of WITNESS is defined by the interrelated biblical principles of SERVANTHOOD, LOCAL CHURCH, and GLOBAL MISSION.
‣ SERVANTHOOD: A distinctive Christian life moves sanctifying relationships beyond a right understanding of the gospel to good works of righteousness. A life committed to servanthood gives witness to the world the implications of the gospel in action. (Matthew 20:26-28; John 13:14-16; I Peter 4:10-11; Ephesians 2:10). Questions for Reflection: What are some practical ways that you can serve those around you for the sake of the gospel every day? What motivates your heart to serve others? How does Servanthood relate to leadership?
‣ LOCAL CHURCH: The church stands as the institution that the Lord has assigned to advance and give witness to the glories of the Gospel. The local church is the regional manifestation of the people of God and is to be cultivated and protected. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:37-47; I Timothy 3:14-15; Ephesians 1:22-23). Questions for Reflection: Are you a member of a local church in the greater Santa Clarita area? In what ways can you promote the ministry in the local church to those around you? Do you consider participation in a local church as another activity or a lifestyle?
‣ GLOBAL MISSION: The Master’s University promotes a comprehensive biblical worldview development in a believing community to advance the greater global community of faith as an exemplary light of redemption by which Christ would call sinful man to repentance. The mission of God is to call individuals from every tribe, tongue, and nation and we desire to promote that plan. (Genesis 12:1-3; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 5:13-16). Questions for Reflection: Do you share the gospel to those around you on a regular basis? In what ways can you promote global evangelism in your life as a University student in a Christian University? In what ways can you invite those around you to join in advancing the gospel globally?
The distinctives become a lens that illuminates everything that happens at Master’s. There is an expectation that our students desire to grow as Christians. We are confident that when an individual develops in their understanding and commitment to the distinctives they will yield a foundational biblical framework to live a distinctively Christian life during their University years and beyond.
In accordance with the Distinctives of Biblical Living, The Master’s University invites all students who are serious about realizing their calling as a Christian to consider their responsibility to the greater Christian community when making application to the University. Not only are students applying to a course of study, they are applying to join a community of dedicated Christians who live, work, and study together for God’s greater purposes. Therefore, students of the University are asked to purposely decide to participate and contribute to the welfare and benefit of others while at the University, both on and off campus. Those who become a part of The Master’s University have decided that they have as their goal to be like the Master, and thus welcome the input of other godly individuals into their lives.
This commitment is distinctively biblical and rejects the values of our culture, which promote selfinterest, a demanding spirit, or a rights-based attitude. Individual students can expect to receive the care, pursuit, encouragement, exhortation, and support provided by the administration, faculty, staff, and fellow students at The Master’s University. The leadership of the University will strive to consistently apply the biblical principles of loving leadership, spiritual oversight, and practical care modelled by Christ. A student can expect that the University community will provide avenues for discovering and employing their unique gifts and vocational interests. The University will offer multiple forums for fellowship, spiritual dialogue, loving counsel, and settings for personal and corporate worship. In addition, the student should expect to experience the granting of forgiveness when true repentance is demonstrated, acceptance and care when sincerely striving for victory over sin, and practical assistance when facing physical needs. With these goals and purposes in mind, we call every student to join the administration, faculty, and staff to uphold the Community Covenant of The Master’s University.
We as the administration, faculty, and staff of The Master’s University covenant to:
‣ Serve the students of The Master’s University as a faithful stewardship to the responsibilities given by our sovereign Lord Jesus Christ.
‣ Subject everything we teach and administrate to the sufficient truth of the Word of God.
‣ Rely upon the work of the Spirit in the lives of our students to accomplish genuine spiritual growth.
‣ Emphasize the development of the heart over behavior modification to cultivate an environment where the whole of the curriculum develops genuine worship.
‣ Recognize a posture of repentance in a student’s life when faced with the realities of their sin.
‣ Pursue all of our efforts at The Master’s University out of a heart of love for God and others.
‣ Relate to each student as a new creation in Christ and joint heirs of the inheritance we share in Christ.
‣ Educate as an expression of interpersonal discipleship in our lives.
‣ Sustain an environment of accountability and corrective discipline according to the biblical model of restoration.
‣ Enable students to employ the instruction they receive through practical and on-going acts of godly service to others.
‣ Invest into the lives of our students with the goal of strengthening the local church
‣ Mobilize the community of The Master’s University to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide.
As the students of The Master’s University, we covenant to:
‣ Submit to the leadership of The Master’s University as an expression of our commitment to the Lordship of Christ.
‣ Seek to relate every academic discipline and detail of life to the sufficient truth of the Word of God.
‣ Strive to walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh.
‣ Advance in redeeming everyday opportunities as worship to God from the heart.
‣ Pursue a contrite heart as we honestly deal with the implications of sin in our lives.
‣ Increase in our love for God and relate that to how we love others.
‣ Perceive our belonging to the community of believers at The Master’s University as an expression of the greater membership of the body of Christ.
‣ Cultivate relationships that promote discipleship in our lives and those around us.
‣ Address sin in the lives of those around us in a spirit of gentleness and peace-making as we desire to present every person complete in Christ.
‣ Develop opportunities to employ the instruction we receive through practical and on-going acts of godly service to others.
‣ Invest in the local church through membership and ministry as a stewardship of our education and expression of giftedness.
‣ Be an ambassador of Jesus Christ in every context to advance the proclamation of the Gospel worldwide.
See the full Student Handbook here: