Since the very beginning Summit Ministries has focused on applying Christianity’s essential doctrines to understand the times and know what our society ought to do. Summit’s board of directors, employees and volunteers seek to clearly state our faith as well as the convictions that flow from it.
Statement of Faith
As a Statement of Faith, Summit Ministries agrees with and holds to the Apostles’ Creed, an ancient profession affirmed by Jesus-followers for more than 1,500 years:
[We] believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
[We] believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
[We] believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic [universal] church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN.
Statement of Convictions
As an outworking of this Statement of Faith, Summit Ministries agrees with and holds to certain convictions describing what we know to be true about the world:
God. God, existing eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the source of all truth and He expresses His nature relationally. God has revealed himself both in nature and through the Bible, the only inerrant, inspired, authoritative Word of God. This has implications for the institutions of church, family, commerce and government.
Humanity. All human beings bear God’s image and are thus inherently valuable—beginning at conception—whether or not society regards them as healthy, productive, or useful. As God’s image bearers, men and women of all races and nationalities have the capacity and the calling to steward creation, create economic and social value, pursue justice, stand against evil, and act in a transforming way in culture.
Salvation. Through sin humanity has departed from God’s way, but through our Lord Jesus Christ God has made a way for us to be reconciled to Him, to be transformed to understand and do His will, and to be ambassadors of His gospel. Further, God has instituted the Church as a vital means by which His gospel would be proclaimed and practiced.
Society. Citizens of the kingdom of heaven will always be the best citizens of the kingdom of man, because obeying God above all earthly powers is what best secures the blessings of liberty. Government is God-ordained to punish evil and protect the good. When it oversteps its bounds by failing to recognize the value of each person, or by constraining conscience, or by calling good what God calls evil and calling evil what God calls good, we must call it to account.
Marriage. God made human beings male and female, equal in value but complementary in their relationship to one another (Gen. 1:26-27). Gender is not a mere social construction, but part of a loving Creator’s design that is lived out in singlehood as well as in marriage, which we believe to have been created by God and intended for one man and one woman, for life (Gen. 2:18-25).Man/woman marriage is the only proper place for intimate sexual relationship and it is the proper place in which to welcome children—by birth or adoption—as a blessing from God. As valuable as marriage is, though, we believe that only God can ultimately meet our need for intimacy, and that our identity is properly placed in Christ rather than in our marital status or our assessment of our feelings of sexual attraction.
Stewardship. Human beings were given charge over God’s creation, and we take seriously our calling to care for it. We are called to bear God’s image through creativity and industriousness. We support the principles of free exchange, respect for private property, and honesty as being means by which we best care for our planet, serve one another, and alleviate poverty and its effects.
We see these convictions as based on justified true beliefs describing the world as it actually is, not on mere opinion or upbringing. Thus, out of gratitude and commitment to our Lord, we will believe them, act upon them, and seek to persuade others.
What is a worldview? According to Dr. Jeff Myers, a worldview is “a pattern of ideas, beliefs, convictions, and habits that help us make sense of God, the world, and our relationship to God and the world.”
There are hundreds of worldviews in operation in the world today, including the Christian worldview. At Summit, we study the worldviews of people because it helps us to understand what they believe and, more importantly, why they believe what they believe. This gives us insight into how we can have conversations with them about the Christian worldview.
Why Does a Christian Worldview Matter?
A Christian worldview matters because it is the lens through which we see the world. Our Christian worldview is an invisible, but a very real, filter that we use to understand why things are the way they are. Understanding our own worldview is just as important as understanding the worldviews of the people around you.
What are My Assumptions?
We all make assumptions about things we don’t fully understand. We assume people’s intentions and motivations. All of these assumptions come from our Christian worldview or our understanding of other people’s worldviews.
What are the Big Stories?
We all tell stories about the world that explain why things are the way they are. Our big stories (also known as meta-narratives) are at the heart of our Christian worldview. The characters and narrative flow of these big stories shape the way we think and act—they’re a huge part of our Christian worldview.
How Do I Navigate the World?
Another reason a Christian worldview matters is because it is what helps us to navigate everyday life. The way we interact with each other, the decisions we make, and the values we hold all flow from our worldview.
Understanding the Christian Worldview
More than 2 billion people in the world claim to be Christians, nearly a third of the world’s population. What they mean by “Christian,” of course, varies widely—some people claim to hold a Christian worldview because their parents were Christian or because they live in a predominantly Christian country.
Still, no one doubts that the Christian worldview is a dominant influence in the world. The Christian worldview is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Messiah prophesied for centuries among the Israelites in the Jewish Scriptures. Christians believe that God has revealed Himself in the Bible as well as in nature, but especially in the person of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus Christ was God incarnated as a human being, his life is the center of the human story from a Christian worldview.
We Were Created by God
One of the first things to know about the Christian worldview is that it states that we were created by God. We were made in His image, to bear His likeness in the world. This is a fundamental aspect of the Christian worldview.
We Have Forgotten Who We Are
In the Christian worldview, it is clear that there are gaps between the way God made us and the world and the way things currently are. One of those gaps is between how we were created to live and how we actually live. The Christian worldview says that, in some ways, we have forgotten who we are and therefore need to be brought back to the relationship we were created for—a relationship with God.
Jesus Came to Bring Us Back
Jesus came into the world to bring us back to God—back to His way of living and back to His way of relating. This is foundational to the Christian worldview. Jesus is the only way for us to get back to the life we were created to live. He showed us what it means to live from a Christian worldview and made the way for each of us to step into this different kind of life.
Inviting Others to See How We See
A big part of the Christian worldview involves inviting others to see the world in the way we see it. It involves helping others to see, the best we can, that God created them and wants them to live in a relationship with Him. The Christian worldview has changed billions of people’s lives throughout the centuries and that worldview is still changing lives today.
For more information about the Christian worldview, visit the free resources section of our website.
Who is Summit Ministries?
Summit Ministries exists to cultivate rising generations to resolutely champion a biblical worldview. We accomplish this in several ways.
Developing Free Worldview Resources
Hosting Student Conferences
Providing Curriculum for Christian Schools, Homeschoolers, and churches.
Developing Free Worldview Resources
We have a huge archive of worldview resources in the form of videos and articles. These are all developed from the standpoint of apologetics—providing a defense for the Christian faith and a biblical worldview.
Hosting Student Conferences
Every summer, hundreds of students attend one of our Student Conferences in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. During these conferences, students hear from some of the foremost minds in Christianity, as they learn to defend their faith and prepare for college. The result is hundreds of students who have taken ownership of their faith and know why they believe what they believe.
Providing Christian School And Homeschool Curriculum
Another way we encourage rising generations to stand strong in a biblical worldview is through providing bible curriculum for Christian Schools and Homeschools. Thousands of kids are using these tools to understand their faith (at an age-appropriate level) and then be ready with a defense of why they believe what they believe. The study of apologetics can begin at a young age, even though it will look different than it does later on in life.
The Focus of Summit Ministries
We are focused on helping people approach and understand life from a Christian, biblical worldview. In our culture today, there are many competing worldviews that offer an explanation for the big questions in life. Through the study and application of apologetics, we provide a solid foundation for people to feel confident in a biblical worldview.
What Areas Does Summit Ministries study?
Answers to the biggest questions in life are being offered all around us. How do we sort through this barrage of assumptions and assertions? We have identified ten areas where the biblical worldview can guide our thinking and our behavior. These areas are woven into our curriculum right from the start, in ways that are age-appropriate.
These 10 areas provide a comprehensive worldview that is based on biblical principles. Through the consistent application of apologetics to these 10 topics, we teach people how to defend their faith with confidence.
The History of Summit Ministries
An alarming number of Christians stumble while in college and around half will renounce their faith because they simply do not have a defense for what they believe. David Noebel, our founder and former president, almost joined those statistics while he was a philosophy student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Noebel founded Summit Ministries in 1962 to help ground Christians in their faith, thereby enabling them to face the barrage of challenges on college campuses.
Our home is a turn-of-the-century hotel (formerly known as The Grandview), luxurious by early 20th century standards. Around this hotel, we have built our home in a complex of buildings dubbed the Summit Village. This, our home base, is located in Manitou Springs, CO at the foot of Pike’s Peak.
From 1962 until 1988, we were a small series of camp-style conferences, hosting an average of 350 students each year. After sending his own son Ryan through our program, Dr. James Dobson featured Summit Ministries on the Focus on the Family radio program in 1989, which quickly grew our attendance exponentially.
Today, with our world-renowned faculty and under the direction of President Dr. Jeff Myers, we are viewed as one of the foremost leaders in training Christians in apologetics, worldview analysis, and social engagement.