Good News
for the University

Vision and Values

Shared Vision and Values

The European region of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) comprises the student movements of 37 culturally diverse nations nonetheless working together. How is this possible?

Since IFES’ foundation in 1947 we have been clear that our shared unity lies in our shared gospel – the ‘evangel’. Similarly, while the integration of faith and scholarship can be a challenging endeavour, we trust that the same gospel foundations can also bring the focus required for effective partnership in this important field. The clarification of an evangelical theological vision for this purpose is the work of the dedicated Gospel and Academia Project.

Our partnership together in academic-specific ministry is based around our unity on three foundational values, built on Christ who is our chief cornerstone.

Beginning with Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

He is before all things,

and in him all things hold together. And

He is the head of the body, the church;

He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.

Colossians 1:15–23


Shared Mission

Everything exists…

 ‘from him’ …’through him’ … and …’to him’.

The first aspect means that we are committed to scholarship for the good of God’s creation, and engaging in it all the more effectively through the clarity provided by biblical lenses – seeing it as created, and fallen, but being redeemed through the work of God in history revealed in Scripture.

The second aspect means that we want to verbalise creation’s praises back to its Creator, and to draw as-yet-unbelievers with us. Here we seek to bring the contribution of our expertise to our evangelistic witness, helping to show how the nature of reality – including the questions, assumptions and history of our field – points to the relevance, plausibility and beauty of the gospel of Christ.


Shared Confession

Our mission statement (above) is framed around the gospel – both as it bears implications for our academic work, and as we bring acceptable worship to God through Christ, including our public witness and evangelism. 

So we want to pursue our shared mission together from a position of generous, humble confidence in the historic truths of biblical Christianity as summarised in the IFES doctrinal statement, placing us within a classical Protestant evangelical tradition.


Shared Ethos

We want to pursue our mission with integrity: in a way that is consistent with our confession. 

God’s communication forms the basis of our intellectual work. We are not anti-intellectual: everything in creation was made through the logos who was then made flesh. His apostles have left us with a written testimony which we receive through his Spirit. So we celebrate both his ‘general’ and ‘special’ revelation: each is through Christ and each informs the other.
But their relationship is not symmetrical: by special revelation God overcomes the impact of the fall. So if in doubt we prioritise our understanding of Scripture – we are not theologically liberalising – even while we work together in humility and love to improve our understanding.

The Gospel and Academia Project

We are pleased to be taking part in the Gospel and Academia Project – GAP – which seeks to strengthen an evangelical contribution to the wider faith-and-scholarship conversation by providing a dedicated space for those whose primary confessional commitments are clear but who would like to help each other fill what is often perceived as a ‘gap’ when it comes to an evangelical concentration in this arena.