The college’s mission statement drives our institutional planning, affecting both curricular and co-curricular activities. It shapes everything from our financial goals and plans, to our hiring decisions, and our marketing strategies, and provides purpose and vision to our everyday tasks. Most importantly, however, it shapes the Criswell student experience, equipping all our students – whether their plans are to serve in traditional paid ministry, in some other career, or a combination of both – to influence the culture for Christ.
The mission of Criswell College is to provide ministerial and professional higher education for men and women preparing to serve as Christian leaders throughout society, while maintaining an institutional commitment to biblical inerrancy.
Certain values have been at the core of Criswell College throughout its history, driving not only what we do but why we do it. The emphases and applications have adapted as culture has changed, but they have always provided a baseline for the college’s mission.
The Christian faith is defined by Scripture, so our commitment to doctrinal integrity is grounded in our affirmation of Scripture’s inerrancy. Every other doctrinal position as expressed in our Articles of Faith is rooted in this conviction.
Christianity entails emulating a Savior who descended to serve people—some who were already faithful, some who became disciples, and even those who were His enemies. We understand that service means seeing, respecting, and understanding the needs of people often overlooked, in addition to those we are already inclined to serve. We are committed to reaching others with the good news and love of Jesus Christ.
Christian education integrates challenging intellectual interaction with exposure to demonstrable expertise in an environment that is tailored to produce lifelong learners. We value the key ingredients of an exemplary academic environment, including faculty excellence, educational best practices, and a supportive network committed to student success.
Christians are called to testify to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and embody the reality and goodness of the Kingdom of God. Our hope for the transformation of the world ultimately depends on the return of Christ, and we are committed to testifying to that hope by engaging culture rather than running from or warring against it. We value Christian leadership that shapes the ideas and ideals of society through engagement both in and beyond the church.
Criswell College’s institutional goals represent its fundamental ambitions and are the basis of departmental planning and operation. All departments establish outcomes that contribute to the fulfillment of each institutional goal.
1. Foster a supportive and academically rigorous environment in which students are equipped to influence the culture for Christ.
Criswell College will provide a collegiate experience designed to attract and fulfill the needs of Christian students who demonstrate a strong sense of calling to serve God with their whole lives. Whether to church ministry or other vocations, these students will evidence the ability to learn and lead at the highest levels. Through an academically rigorous curriculum, small class sizes and relationships with both faculty members and advising groups students will be mentored for academic, spiritual, and professional success. The academic excellence of the learning environment will be supported by ample library and technological resources. Both the design of programs and the example of faculty and staff will promote active leadership in ministry, including missions and evangelism, and service in the local community. The college’s urban setting will give context to support this ministry focus by providing a safe environment in which to demonstrate the value of community engagement, cross-cultural experience, and ethnic diversity. In addition to growing in the knowledge and skills of their particular disciplines, graduating students will know and believe Scripture at a deeper level and evidence a sound Christian worldview grounded in the college’s theological and general education.
2. Develop a model workplace which provides faculty, staff, and administrators the opportunities and resources to flourish both personally and professionally.
Criswell College has always been staffed by Christians committed not simply to an institution and a job, but to a calling. These servants are focused and unified around finding a way to help every student grow academically and spiritually as they progress toward graduation. In light of this important role the college will become, over time, one of the best places to work in North Central Texas. Together with trustees, staff, and faculty, administrators will seek to create an environment in which personal and professional development is not only encouraged and expected, but also where adequate provisions make such development obtainable for every employee. This environment will promote mutual respect and service among all employees of the college.
3. Implement strategic practices that increase the college’s level of distinction and enrich its corporate culture.
Many staff and faculty have given the majority of their careers to carving out a strong place for the college in the academic world. To build on those commitments, Criswell must now develop internal practices consistent with the highest standards of institutional excellence. To accomplish this goal, every unit of the college will be aligned with the institutional mission and use regular assessments to make progress toward clearly defined goals. Every problem will instigate not only a solution but the development of a policy or procedure to improve the college as a whole. Every success will provoke not only a celebration, but also the question of how even greater success can be achieved. The college will operate in such a way that it merits the respect and admiration of its own constituents, other educational institutions, and the broader community as a model of Christian, academic, and administrative distinction.
4. Cultivate external relationships that not only support the college but also create opportunities for the institution to serve its local community.
Criswell College alumni and other supporters have always generously provided finances for operations, prospects for enrollment, and places of service for students and graduates. As the college’s vision expands, so does the importance of its relationship with the community, including businesses, clinics, churches, ministries, other academic institutions, and benefactors. The college will develop external relationships to provide students with internships, local mission and ministry venues, and vocational opportunities both before and after graduation. Through these relationships, the college will model Christian service by engaging in actions and relationships which can bring improvement to its community. The college will strengthen its relationship with existing donors while also creating new connections with individuals and organizations interested in providing financial and relational support for the college’s future.