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Our Mission + Values

Salem Covenant is part of a movement that began almost 150 years ago that emphasized the authority of God’s Word, the need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the importance of mission. Today, that movement is called the Evangelical Covenant Church, but it is still shaped by the same values that drove its founders. The Covenant church is called “non-creedal,” but that does not mean we don’t believe in anything—far from it! We recognize the value of the historic creeds of the Christian Church, but call ourselves “non-creedal” because we realize those creeds do not tell the whole story.

Here’s how we describe ourselves in the Covenant:

  •  We are an apostolic church, meaning that we seek to continue and practice the faith passed on to us from the earliest followers of Jesus.


  • We are a Catholic church, meaning that we recognize we are part of something much bigger than ourselves: the whole church of Jesus Christ. While we have our own theological distinction, we are not a competitor to other Christian denominations, we are co-laborers and spiritual siblings.


  • We are a Reformation church, meaning that we have been shaped by the principles and teachings of Christian leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin. In fact, the Covenant Church originally emerged out of the Swedish Lutheran Church. We have also been influenced by Pietism, a renewal movement that swept through Europe starting in the seventeenth century.


  •  We are an evangelical church, meaning that we have been shaped by other spiritual renewal movements, that we believe in the authority of Scripture and the necessity of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and that we believe missions and evangelism are essential to the life of the Church and key to God’s purposes for the Church in the world. As Covenanters, we also have what we call “affirmations.” In some ways, they function as our denominational statement of faith, even though we don't call them that.

Our Affirmations:


  •  We affirm the centrality of the Word of God. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith doctrine and Conduct. The Bible must shape not only what we believe and how we think, but also how we live and act.


  •  We affirm the necessity of a new birth. Jesus Christ came into the world to bring lost, hurting, and broken people back to God. For our relationship with God to be restored, though, we have to accept this gift of new life and commit ourselves to following Jesus.


  •  We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the Church. Early Covenanters were called “mission friends” because of their commitments to each other and to the world around them. We believe that evangelism is essential to the mission of the church, but so are practical expressions and actions of compassion, mercy, and justice.


  • We affirm that the Church is a fellowship of Believers. The Bible calls the Church the“body of Christ” and makes it clear that becoming part of this “body” is a result of personal faith in Jesus. Therefore, the Covenant Church is a “believers’ church,” with membership open to anyone who has made a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ.


  • We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returned to heaven after his resurrection, he promised that he would send the Holy Spirit to direct, empower, teach, and protect his followers. That promise became reality on the day of Pentecost. Today, the Spirit continues to shape our lives and our ministry according to God’s purposes and God’s Word.


  • We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ. There are two dimensions to this freedom. One reflects what Paul says in Galatians 5:1, that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” That does not mean we can do anything we want. It does mean that through faith in Christ, obedience to God’s Word, and the presence of the Holy Spirit, we are able to be and become all God has created us to be. The Second dimension is latitude in certain beliefs and practices. We affirm that there are essentials on which all Christians must agree, but there are also places where sincere believers and serious students of the Bible can legitimately disagree. In those cases, we seek to be charitable and understanding. Because of the twin commitments to the authority of Scripture and a certain (though not unlimited) level of theological freedom, people of diverse backgrounds can easily call the Covenant “Home.”

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