Philosophy of Education

All truth is God’s truth. Our educational philosophy rests, for our search for truth, upon the authority of Scripture, as well as upon tradition, reason, and experience. It is shaped by Biblical revelation and informed by our theological presuppositions, and therefore includes the following assumptions about reality, knowledge, humanness, and value.


We understand God to be personal—the creator and ruler of an orderly, dynamic universe. Through this universe God’s eternal purposes, meaning, creativity, and loving care are expressed.


We learn about reality through observation, thought, and a scholarly and disciplined search for truth. We then perceive reality’s ultimate meaning in and through God and through His creation. The fullest information about God’s person and purposes appears in God’s self-revelation in redemptive acts—in Hebrew history and in the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ—as recorded and interpreted in the Bible. God’s dealings are always primarily relational, first through God’s choosing of a people and later through the establishment of the church. God continues to be at work in the world through His creation and through the instrument of the church in the power of the Holy Spirit, calling people individually and collectively into a saving experience.

To learn, throughout our lives, we must do more than gain knowledge. We must also integrate our knowledge with adaptive coping skills—skills which we develop through our life experiences and temper by spiritual discernment. As we watch our community’s leaders and members integrating the outcomes of their moral choices, we learn from our own faith-based choices. From these people we can learn to serve by leading, and to lead by serving. Their habits of heart and mind serve as models for our own. As we create our unique spiritual, cognitive, and psycho-social synthesis, our Christian learning community encourages and supports us. In such a community, both the curricular and co-curricular experiences can help us develop into servant leaders.


We humans are created in the image of God, and are therefore of inestimable value. We further understand that this image is found across cultures, ethnic and racial groups, and social class. But because we are bound by sin, we have become estranged from God and neighbor, and our lives are distorted. Yet God, out of infinite mercy, offers us salvation and reconciliation in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. As a result, all who profess belief in Christ are called to seek the fullness of the Spirit and to live lives of wholeness and grace through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As bearers of God’s image, humans retain certain qualities and responsibilities. These qualities include complex rational capabilities, systematic and powerful skills of investigation, and the capacity for compelling ethical and aesthetic insights. Because we are social in both our nature and our circumstance, we bear a responsibility to live as a functional part of society in its diverse manifestations. This requires sensitivity to culture, ethnicity, race, gender, religious tradition and practice, and social class. In addition we should live redemptively, pointing others to Christ, to the church, and to the Christian worldview.


We value righteousness, which we understand to be obedience to God and His revelation. The essence of this obedience is captured in the Christian ideals of character and calling.

Regarding character, we prize:

    • commitment to God through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ;
    • respect for all creation;
    • respect for persons as they have been variously created by God;
    • personal freedom and the acceptance of responsibility for the personal and social consequences which result from the exercise of this freedom; and
    • obedience to the teachings of Christ and the apostolic tradition, and to the Spirit of God at work in the life of the individual and the church.

With respect to calling, we embrace:

    • the responsibility of each believer to live a life of full service in and through the church—the Body of Christ;
    • the wholeness of life and our dual obligations to affirm all that is true, good, and beautiful and to exercise stewardship over all of creation;
    • the ethics of love and the responsibility for bringing good news and personal relief to all, with special care for the poor and downtrodden; and
    • the necessity of the indwelling Spirit of God if we expect our lives of ministry and service to have either substance or effectiveness.

Based on our assumptions about reality, knowledge, humanness, and value, Greenville University pursues certain objectives. Our pursuit unifies both spiritual and academic aims in an effort to minister to the whole person.

  • Seek truth. Seek it dynamically, integratively, comprehensively, Biblically, and historically, with discipline and scholarship; and seek meaning in truth through recognition that it proceeds from God.
  • Learn to think critically and creatively. Develop such thinking processes as induction; deduction; problem solving; quantitative reasoning; intuition; communication; interpretation; aesthetic discernment; creative expression; and perceptive reading, viewing, and listening.
  • Understand and value the wholeness of creation. Integrate knowledge from many areas of study into a comprehensive point of view. Learn to discern truth, goodness, and beauty; take interest in ideas regardless of their immediate utility; and exercise stewardship over one's physical and biological environment.
  • Understand our world. Know the basic content and processes of the physical and biological world, the human race, our civilization, our society, our technological environment, and other cultures.
  • Respect human life and understand the human condition. Recognize humankind's best and worst capacities; affirm persons of all ethnic and racial backgrounds as creative bearers of God's image; respond to and love others, and work for reconciliation.
  • Understand and apply basic social structures and processes. Recognize society's diverse manifestations, develop cultural sensitivity, and communicate effectively and responsibly.
  • Develop self-understanding. Exercise integrity of character, personal expression, and stewardship of self; appreciate the value of one's own physical and psychological well-being; and recognize learning as a life-long process.
  • Value personal accomplishment. Recognize talent as from God and accept responsibility for developing creative skills, demonstrate competence in at least one area of study, learn to make sound judgments, and develop a sense of vocation, which gives meaningful direction to one's life.
  • Respond to God's expression. Understand the Judeo-Christian worldview as made manifest through Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience; fully embrace one's role in the Body of Christ; respond to God's initiating grace; be sensitive to the Spirit of God at work in the individual, the church, and the world; affirm the values of truth, goodness, beauty, and the glory of God; express those values in responsible decisions and action; and join in God's creative and redemptive activity by becoming a servant leader.