The Cambridge Theological Federation exists to serve the mission of God in the world, as that mission is expressed and worked out in the life of the Church. Our vision is centred in the transforming love of Christ, who is the Wisdom of God, and this vision is given life by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit of God. The form and content of our endeavours, therefore, are rooted in the life of God, whose self-giving activity is the joy of the Church and the hope of the world.
Our vision for today grows out of the Great Commission, out of the Vision statement held by the Federation since the early 1990s, and out of the fundamental purposes of the Federation as stated in our Memorandum and Articles of Association:
- the advancement of the Christian faith;
- the advancement of religious, ecumenical education in accordance with the doctrine and principles of the Christian faith;
- the preparation of men and women for ordained or lay ministry and service within the Christian churches.
This vision is given shape by the nature and needs of the contemporary world for Christian leadership which is theologically and pastorally wise, mission oriented, and committed to collaborative ways of discerning the truth with love. Given our particular location in Cambridge, it is natural that the Federation should seek to develop a role in thought leadership in terms of the wider church, and to share the evolution of these ideas internally and externally. The Federation intends its member institutions to grow together in effectiveness in serving God’s Kingdom across four key domains:
- Innovation and creativity for mission in today’s world;
- Excellence and accessibility in education and formation for Christian ministries and discipleship;
- Distinctive contribution to the Church’s ecumenical endeavour;
- Engagement with the world-wide Church and higher education in learning and scholarship.
Each domain of our vision has several aspects which together inform the Strategic Plan and help realize the potential of the Federation and its members.
Innovation and creativity for mission in today’s world
- Enable students to engage with the spiritual, social and cultural issues essential for contemporary discipleship and ministry in pluralist and post-Christian societies;
- Equip students to build bridges in a range of contexts to encourage the reception of God’s Word in our day;
- Develop Christian outreach through placements, missions, preaching, prayer and retreat opportunities, and student exchanges;
- Foster mutual understanding, dialogue and constructive engagement with other faith communities;
- Develop the skills for constructive working with difference essential for ministries of justice, healing and reconciliation;
- Encourage a critical and creative engagement between a living Christian wisdom and the wisdom of the arts and sciences.
Excellence and accessibility in education and formation for Christian ministries and discipleship
- Develop programmes for initial and continuing education which engage with the formation of the whole person Ė intellectually, spiritually and as practitioners;
- Continue to expose students to the learning opportunities created by having an extensive and well-qualified faculty who are engaged in scholarship and ministry;
- Achieve the highest academic and practitioner training standards through well designed complementary partnerships with Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin universities;
- Increase the impact of the training and of learning resources by developing the Federationís use of e-learning and other new media and by developing staff skills in their deployment;
- Improve and develop the quality of staff and their contribution to cutting-edge thinking.
Distinctive contribution to the Churchís ecumenical endeavour
- Grow in the common vocation of mission, worshipping, working and learning in generous co-operation with each other as a model of a community of communities;
- Respect and value the difference and distinctiveness of each otherís traditions;
- Improve the extent to which the curriculum and teaching are appropriately ecumenical in method, form and content;
- Use our experience of working together across an unusually wide spectrum of traditions to form Christian leaders who can contribute to emerging theologies and practices of ecumenism, and contribute to the leadership of thought in this process.
Engagement with the world-wide Church and higher education in learning and scholarship
- Enhance the hospitality offered within the Federation to students, scholars, and practitioners from across the global Church;
- Seek ways to make the rich learning opportunities of Cambridge and the wider region available to students and ministers from other countries for postgraduate study, doctoral and postdoctoral research and sabbaticals;
- Create the setting within which Federation member institutions can build strategic international partnerships for the benefit of students, staff and the wider church;
- Develop the research capacity of the Federationís academic staff for the benefit of their teaching, the praxis of ministry in this country, and for the wider Church, and lead in the development of innovative ideas in this context.