CHARIS hosts conversations of and about Churches of Christ. The purpose of this website is to train disciples of Jesus Christ for God’s Kingdom by witnessing to God’s gracious gifts (Greek: “charis”) among the Churches of Christ, both past and present (see Gospel of Matthew 13:52). The website hosts critical, contemporary conversations through invited blog posts, and through featured online essays and presentations. CHARIS also develops and provides access to digital repositories of significant primary and secondary historical sources for study of the Churches of Christ around the world. These are resources for teaching and service in the Church, and also in colleges/universities that serve the churches through formation and renewal of the mind and spirit of Jesus Christ in faculty, staff, and students.
The CHARIS website is supported by Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX, USA), and the Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) at ACU. The mission of CHARIS at ACU is to develop within ACU and its constituencies a healthy view of Christian heritage—including the biblical heritage, ACU’s heritage, and each person’s own heritage of faith—for the purpose of engaging in meaningful spiritual renewal. Although ACU supports the CHARIS website, the views expressed on the website are those of the various authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, Abilene Christian University or CHARIS at ACU.
Because of the particular mission and identity of ACU, a key focus of CHARIS is the broad and diverse group of independent congregations known as Churches of Christ, which is one of the major streams in the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. Leaders in these churches established the university in 1906 because of the values and commitments of this movement. For over a century, ACU has maintained a strong relationship with these churches. Understanding this heritage not only helps explain the mission and identity of university, but it can also shape the school’s future in important ways.
The following are the fundamental commitments that express what ACU’s Center for Heritage and Renewal in Spirituality (CHARIS) is at its very core, the principles and qualities that should infuse every practice and activity of the center.
- We value our belief in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- We value the salvation that is a gift of God through the obedience of faith in Jesus Christ.
- We value that the Holy Spirit formed, and is always forming the people of God through their faithful encounter with the Word of God.
- We value efforts to faithfully restore New Testament Christianity insofar as it leads, by God’s grace, to the purity, unity, and charity to which Christ calls His Church.
- We value the Bible as the primary and authoritative source of Christian faith and heritage.
- We value the reading, praying, singing, and obeying of Scripture in daily life.
- We value knowing and utilizing our Christian heritage, and believe this supports ongoing spiritual renewal in Christian faith and action.
- We value the growth of Churches of Christ, as well as colleges and university that serve the churches and the broader world through Christian teaching and learning.
- We value higher education that leads to increased faith in Christ and participation in God’s mission in the world.
- We value and love all people everywhere, and seek to do good to/with them, regardless of their agreement or disagreement with the values and commitments expressed on this website.
To contact CHARIS at ACU, please write [email protected].