A community is a group of people living together who share a common way of life which is expressed in shared beliefs, goals, values, purpose, responsibilities and communication. Inherent in this common way of life is a set of principles and derived customs which characterize the distinctiveness of such a community. These time-established customs become the traditions that give shape to our community life. Asbury University is a community of learners in the Christian liberal arts tradition. Founded in 1890 upon the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, Asbury University established its mission to prepare students—intellectually, spiritually and socially—to impact their world for Jesus Christ. This mission is demonstrated in the institutional motto: “Eruditio et Religio”; that is, “Learning and Religion.” Asbury’s heritage of academic excellence and spiritual vitality has been the hallmark of the University’s greatness for more than a century, and this commitment continues today.
A distinguishing mark of a Christian community is that its members commit to a set of basic principles which are considered essential to maintain the spirit and health of the community. At Asbury University, the basic tenet of our community is found in Jesus’ two great commandments in Matthew 22:37-40:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.…And…you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Put differently, God has gifted us with faculties of the mind (the intellect) hands (service) and affections (the heart)—and while the enterprise of deliberate Christian education will necessarily seek to cultivate each, we prioritize rightly ordered love as a basis for Christian discipleship. We believe that the essence of love is otherness. To love is to will the good of another.
Thus, members of the Asbury University community seek to love God and practice self-sacrificial love in relationship to others. Such disciplined community living is essential preparation for servant-leaders who will give their lives to fulfill a cause greater than themselves.