Community Ethos

Gordon-Conwell is a school where community life is taken seriously. It is acknowledged that development is an integral part of preparation for ministry and this development involves the many dimensions of human personality. Furthermore, this time of preparation is best understood as a period when relationships are emphasized and the sharing of life's moments, insights and substance is encouraged. All of the aspects of community life are drawn from the basic conviction that God created us to live together; that Christ died and rose again so that we could live together; that our Lord will return again to receive all of the ‘household of faith’ to live together forever; and that Scripture has been given to the human as the ultimate authority and guide for all of our living.

Click the links below for information pertaining to Gordon-Conwell's community ethos:

Community Life Statement

  • We affirm that the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the ultimate guide for our values, attitudes and behaviors in all relationships.
  • We will seek to foster the development of spiritual maturity through maintaining a personal devotional life and through participating in community worship and prayer.
  • We will seek to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace, and in gentleness, patience and humility, accept one another in love.
  • We will seek to encourage one another to mature in Christ-likeness through attempting to speak the truth in love in the classrooms, in business affairs, in social relationships and in all other areas of our common life.
  • We will seek to encourage unity in families through responsible relationships.
  • We will seek to respect and encourage our uniqueness in Christ, which includes our diversity of denomination, race, culture, personality, experience, gifts and goals.
  • We will seek to become involved individually and corporately with the Church in ministering to spiritual and social needs within and beyond our own community.
  • We renounce attitudes such as greed, jealousy, false pride, lust, bitterness, hostility, an unforgiving spirit, and prejudice such as that based on race, sex and academic or socio-economic status.
  • We renounce behaviors such as distortion of God's Word, deception, falsehood, drunkenness, stealing, and sexual immorality such as premarital intercourse, adultery and homosexual behavior.
  • We believe where conflict or sin occurs in the Gordon-Conwell community, a biblical process such as stated in Matthew 18:15-20 should be followed to seek correction, forgiveness, restitution and reconciliation.
  • We will seek to practice an attitude of mutual submission according to the mind of Christ, recognizing that at times our personal rights and preferences must be put aside for the sake of others' conscience and the good of the community.
  • We will seek to encourage the cultivation of such spiritual attitudes as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Community Life

The common life in Jesus Christ shared by students, faculty, administrators and staff provides a base for special spiritual fellowship. The varying ecclesiological and personal backgrounds enrich this sharing. A Christian community is enjoyed not only in the classroom, dormitory, cafeteria and library, but also in a variety of devotional experiences.


Chapel services are led by faculty, staff, students and visiting speakers. Tapes are available for purchase through the Ockenga Institute Offices and departments are closed during the chapel hour on Wednesday for all school chapel. Special emphasis weeks provide concentrated attention to spiritual growth, missions, urban ministry and contemporary issues.

Denominational Groups

Gordon-Conwell students represent a wide variety of denominational affiliations. Denominational groups are student led with a faculty or clergy advisor offering fellowship and sharing of information. Students have opportunities to work in their respective denominations through the Mentored Ministry Program.

Student Association

The Student Association helps maintain the ethos of the community and addresses areas of importance to the development of the seminary student through its different committees.

Women at Gordon-Conwell

God has called both women and men for Christian service. Historically, both parent institutions of Gordon-Conwell had women faculty and welcomed women students to all their educational programs. A.J. Gordon was a well-known advocate, in his day, of the preaching ministry of women. Gordon-Conwell continues to welcome women to all its degree programs, seeking to build a community in which all of Christ's people, regardless of gender, find warm acceptance.

Gordon-Conwell, as an educational institution, does not ordain anyone. As a multi-denominational seminary, it recognizes that the churches which it serves decide which ministries should be formalized by ordination. But it seeks and welcomes women who are preparing themselves for any form of service in the church, including the ordained ministry. Since the seminary accepts women who are training for this purpose, the responsibility of students, faculty, staff, and administration is to relate to one another so that Christ's call can be pursued freely without the impediment of exclusive or insensitive words and actions. Women preparing for ministry, therefore should receive personal encouragement from all members of the community.

To that end, the Seminary is committed to the full inclusion of women, their contributions and concerns, in recruitment and admission of students, for teaching, for administering and planning curriculum, chapels, and convocations, and for filling faculty, administrative and other appointments.

Seminary Student Spouses

Various programs and activities are initiated by student spouses under the auspices of Student Life Services. All student activities are available to student spouses. Student spouses may audit one course per semester as per the guidelines set forth by the Registration Office. Other opportunities are made available through the Ockenga Institute

Special Community Events

An old fashioned New England Clambake is held each year on the campus property following the Fall registration. Students and student families are treated to a traditional menu of clams, lobster, chicken and corn-on-the-cob. Students have the opportunity to meet the faculty, administration and staff and celebrate the beginning of the school year together.

A Senior Banquet is held each year between the end of the spring semester and graduation. It is a joyful time of celebration and thanksgiving to recognize our graduates. Awards and honors are presented to graduating seniors by the Seminary and celebrated by the community.

Contact Michelle D. Williams at regarding the Student Life Services web pages.