In the book of Mark, Jesus said that the most important commandment is to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus was making it clear that every aspect of who we are should reflect our passion for the Lord. At Francis, we are endeavoring to live out this commandment.
The spiritual life at Francis can be seen everywhere you turn—in classes, in residences, in chapels, in student-led Bible studies. Prayer, worship, dialogue about God and His Word, and Christian fellowship flow through the course of each day here at Francis.
Once each week we gather as a community for chapel. These services are dynamic times for responding to the Holy Spirit and the truth of the Word. Passionate worship marks these strong times together. Guest speakers as well as faculty members and selected students bring messages of encouragement and challenge from God’s Word.
The administration and faculty of the institute seek to be sensitive to both the needs of the students and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Periodically, a special day of prayer and worship may be called for the purpose of spiritual reflection and renewal, with the entire school community uniting together for the day.
At least once annually, a special series of chapel services is planned for ministry emphasis. The speakers are men and women of God who exemplify Christian leadership in the Church and/or the world.
Throughout the book of Acts we read how God visits His people when they gather together for times of prayer, praise, and worship. Our doctrine calls on us to “identify ourselves with the visible Body of Christ.” We interpret this call to mean that each member of the Francis community should participate regularly in the life of a local church.
We assemble together in local congregations to allow the Word to work in us with authority and mutual accountability. We do this so that the gifts can work in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We gather as well, to fellowship among God’s people, who are the true temple of God by His Spirit. New students are required to visit several churches in the local area prior to selecting a “home church.”
We believe it is important for students to attend their home church consistently. Students who absent themselves from church services without legitimate excuse communicate that they are not in accord with the purposes of the institute.
As part of his or her spiritual development, each student is expected to regularly participate in a small group. These groups provide an opportunity for Bible study, fellowship, and accountability. Many students meet in a small group provided through their church; others participate in various groups that meet on campus.
All members of the Francis community (administrators, faculty members, staff, and students) are encouraged to maintain a rich, daily devotional life. Times alone with God in Bible study, meditation, prayer, fasting, and praise are invaluable in forming the character of Jesus and in receiving the empowerment of the Spirit. In addition to private devotions, it is not unusual for students to meet regularly with other members of the campus community for special times together in God’s presence.