The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology was formed by its convictions and practice in orthodox Christian faith in 1997. Our mission is to train people to be competent in the study of text, soul, and culture in order to serve God and neighbor through transforming relationships. We are an unashamedly Christian institution, which invites thoughtful dialogue and reflection through the disciplines and practice of theology, psychology and spirituality. Like the synagogues of Ancient Israel, we gather around biblical and theological texts to wrestle with their meaning in our lives for the purpose of faithfully engaging our world. Therefore, we are a community of both conviction and discourse. Because we are centered in the revelatory and redemptive centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, we intentionally practice discourse, collaboration, mission and life together.
We claim the theological orthodoxy of the Nicene Creed. By that, we mean…
- We are Trinitarian theists who believe in One God, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, revealed in Trinity. Grounded in theism, we are people of conviction, belief and faith who seek relationship with the living God. It is our conviction that God is the creator of all things including the earth in which we live and has created all persons imago dei, in God’s own image. That is our true identity as humankind; more than material beings, we are profoundly embodied in God’s image.
- We are centered in the person of Jesus Christ. It is our conviction that Jesus is God incarnate, who loved people, conquered sin and death in the scandal of the cross and created a community which gave dignity to all people. God is revealed most completely in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus who lived in time and space, embodied in history, in a world in which shalom has been shattered by human sin and restored through the death of Christ. Jesus is the decisive revelation of the person of God and of what it means to be fully human, thus the “central and defining figure in the Christian spiritual life.”
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the living Word of God, the perfect image of God and the exact representation of God’s being. He fully reveals God through his life, death, and resurrection not only as the center of salvific history, but also the narrative foundation for all restoration of personhood, relationships and the earth.
- In the atonement, Jesus Christ is God saving and redeeming humankind and all creation; redemption for humankind and all creation is through the atoning work of Christ.
- In the resurrection, Jesus lives and reigns with God as ruler over all creation.
- In the church, Jesus is Lord, worshipped, followed and obeyed. The church is the living body of Christ grounded in time and place as a community of mission and communion.
- The Holy Spirit is given to empower people to live within our individual bodies and the collective Body of Christ, the church, in order to be agents of renewal and reconciliation. Through the Spirit, we are empowered to resist systemic powers that strike against justice, peace, and equity in our world. It is our conviction that the Holy Spirit makes Jesus known and is active in the formation of people, the mission of the church and in vocational calling for all people.
More than dogma or creed, this is a call to a relational way of knowing through scripture, community, worship, study, and service. We seek to train people who will pray and work for shalom in their own contexts—including home, marketplace, the arts, the church and everywhere they are called to serve.
Foundational Biblical Texts
Three texts have historically been essential to the theological DNA of The Seattle School as, together, they call us to our mission around text, soul, and culture.
“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard, yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” — Psalm 19:1-4a
“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rules or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and in him all things hold together.” — Colossians 1:15-17
“For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands…For in him we live and move and have our being.” — Acts 17:23-25, 27
We confess that the scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are the Word of God. We give thanks for them as a gift from God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, written down by God’s servants. We receive them in the tradition of the Christian Church as entirely true and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct, and, as the authoritative guide to our identity and vocation, bringing us to the fullness of life in Jesus Christ.
Creedal Statement of Belief: The Nicene Creed
WE BELIEVE in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.
Statement of Religious Affiliation
We are a school comprised of faculty, staff, students, and alumni from multiple church traditions, denominations and faith backgrounds. Because we are centered in the revelatory and redemptive centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, we intentionally practice discourse, collaboration, constructive interaction, mission and life together.
Statement on Discourse
In an abiding belief—based on the witness of Scripture—that all people are image bearers of God, The Seattle School affirms the Belovedness of all people, including differences in ability, race, age, ethnicity, economic status, creed, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The Seattle School chooses an intentional posture of dialogue and engagement, with a desire to be a context that bridges differing traditions, perspectives, and cultures toward the possibility of encountering the generous hospitality for all people found in the reign of God. In a divided and broken world, we seek to train people to be agents of hope and healing for individuals and communities. We are a community seeking to recognize, reflect, and engage the dignity, agency, and mutuality of all people, especially those who have been marginalized.
These foundational statements express the defining convictions of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. They are reviewed and re-affirmed annually by the Board of Trustees. All core faculty, executive council level administrators, and Trustees consciously agree with the statements of theological identity and are, by conviction and practice, people of well-articulated faith in Jesus Christ.