1. Our life as a community.
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute seeks to be a community that models devotion to God through Messiah Yeshua in the Holy Spirit, Jewish spirituality and practice, ethics embodying the teaching of our sacred texts, and competent and caring spiritual leadership.
Devotion to God through Messiah Yeshua in the Holy Spirit.
Jewish life renewed in Yeshua is Jewish life centered on the God who shares with us divine life through Yeshua by the gift of the divine Spirit. Yeshua is both the embodied Torah who reveals God to us, and the exalted King and High Priest of Israel who represents us before God. By the gift of his Spirit we are joined to Yeshua, and empowered to know and love God through him. All that is taught, learned, and lived in MJTI is an expression of devotion to God through Messiah Yeshua in the Holy Spirit.
Jewish spirituality and practice.
MJTI seeks to teach and live a prophetic vision of Jewish life renewed in Yeshua. Renewal implies transformation, but it also implies continuity. The Jewish life that is renewed in Yeshua has been passed on to us by generations who have guarded and preserved the covenant for its day of eschatological renewal. Our spirituality and religious practice takes what they have transmitted as basic building blocks for the construction of a Messianic house filled with God’s Spirit.
Ethics embodying the teaching of our sacred texts.
The Torah, as authoritatively interpreted and embodied by Messiah Yeshua, and as enriched through centuries of commentary and application, provides practical guidance that goes beyond spirituality and religious practice. It instructs us to treat one another in a way that honors the divine image in every human being, and to care for creation in a way that enables it to flourish and progress toward its divinely appointed goal. Yeshua also points us to the day when the lion will lie down with the lamb, and enables us to live out now by the Spirit something of the renewed Torah of the age to come. Torah ethics, so conceived, are central to the prophetic vision of Jewish life renewed in Yeshua that MJTI seeks to teach and live.
Competent and caring spiritual leadership.
MJTI seeks to train and equip leaders for service within the Messianic Jewish movement and beyond. Quality spiritual leadership requires more (but not less) than theological expertise, personal piety, and well-formed character. It also requires practical leadership skills, and a cultivated capacity to care for human beings in varied circumstances. MJTI seeks to teach and model such competent and caring spiritual leadership.
2. Our participation in wider communities.
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute supports and promotes dedication to the well-being of the Jewish people, respect for the Christian church and commitment to its welfare, participation in God’s redemptive activity in the world, and responsibility to bear witness to Yeshua as good news for all Israel.
Dedication to the well-being of the Jewish people.
Jewish life is the life of a people. All Jews are responsible for one another, and for the common life they share. Jewish life renewed in Yeshua does not remove us from such concern, but renders it all the more urgent. Regardless of how the wider Jewish community treats us, regardless of what it says about Yeshua-faith, it is still a community in covenant with God, to whom we owe our loyalty. MJTI seeks to teach and live such loyalty, as expressed in dedication to the well-being of the Jewish people.
Respect for the Christian church and commitment to its welfare.
What does it mean for Jewish life to be renewed “in Yeshua”? What does “in Yeshua” mean? What does it mean for human beings to be devoted to God through Yeshua in the Spirit? We learn the answers to these questions through the Apostolic Writings, but we read those Writings in the context of two thousand years of commentary and application by the community that ordered them, preserved them, and passed them on to us. We also discover from these Writings that the Christian Church has been joined to Israel through its union with Yeshua. Though the Church has struggled to free itself from this relationship as vigorously as Israel has struggled to free itself from Yeshua, both efforts are futile. Thus, to be committed to Jewish life renewed in Yeshua is to be committed to an extended commonwealth of Israel. In light of this, MJTI seeks always to show respect for the Christian church, and to promote its welfare.
Participation in God’s redemptive activity in the world.
While Jewish life renewed in Yeshua involves communal commitments to the Jewish people and the Christian Church, it also involves participation in God’s redemptive activity in the world. The Jewish people and the Church have different roles to play in that historical drama, but both share in the priestly, prophetic, and royal mission of Israel’s Messiah. Accordingly, MJTI seeks to teach and live a way of life that brings a foretaste of eschatological healing and repair to a broken and wounded world.
Responsibility to bear witness to Yeshua as good news for all Israel.
As a prophetic sign and foretaste of Jewish life renewed in Yeshua, MJTI bears witness in word and deed that Yeshua is truly Israel’s life, both now and in the age to come. Even though Israel has stumbled over Yeshua, in much the same way as the Church has stumbled over Israel, yet the rock of stumbling is destined to be the keystone of the arch that brings together Israel and the Church as a sign of reconciliation for a broken world. As the one who renews rather than nullifies Jewish life, the authentic message of Yeshua will always be good news for Israel. MJTI is committed to bear witness to that message for the sake of Israel, the Church, and the world.
3. Our sources of guidance.
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute commits itself to fidelity to Scripture as God’s revelation, continuity with Jewish tradition and scholarship, engagement with Christian tradition and scholarship, and interaction with contemporary culture and current academic thought.
Fidelity to Scripture as God’s revelation.
The biblical writings are the textual source underlying the prophetic vision that animates and guides MJTI. They also constitute the textual center for the Jewish learning and life that is renewed in Yeshua. Apart from the story they tell and the guidance they give, Jewish life is an insoluble enigma, and Yeshua is a name without content. Therefore, MJTI seeks always to preserve uncompromising fidelity to the teaching of Scripture as the textual instrument of God’s self-revelation in Yeshua to Israel, the Church, and the world.
Continuity with Jewish tradition and scholarship.
The Jewish life that Yeshua renews involves a rich and diverse religious culture centered in the tradition of Talmud Torah – the study of God’s teaching rooted in the gift of the Torah at Sinai. This way of learning and life calls out for renewal in Yeshua – and the renewal, when it comes, transforms the tradition in unexpected ways. Nevertheless, it is the tradition that it transforms, and it remains the tradition in its transformed condition. In its role as a foretaste of Jewish life renewed in Yeshua, MJTI seeks to maintain continuity with Jewish tradition and scholarship even as it contributes to the transformation of that tradition.
Engagement with Christian tradition and scholarship.
MJTI takes its place within the Jewish life that is renewed in Yeshua. Renewal in Yeshua, however, also summons us to a relationship of love and reconciliation with the Christian Church as a historical reality. While Christian history (like Jewish history) has many problematic elements, it also has produced a wide-ranging tradition of scholarship and theological interpretation filled with spiritual insight. We cannot adequately understand devotion to God through Yeshua in the Spirit without drawing upon that tradition Therefore, in its learning and teaching MJTI seeks a serious and fruitful engagement with the breadth and depth of Christian tradition and scholarship.
Interaction with contemporary culture and current academic thought.
MJTI seeks to be a learning environment which values wisdom wherever it is found and which holds to the highest standards of educational and academic excellence. It also seeks to be a contemporary expression of Jewish life renewed in Yeshua. Therefore,
while recognizing the weaknesses of contemporary culture and the pitfalls of current academic thought, MJTI seeks to interact with that culture and that thought in order to learn what may be learned and in order to participate in God’s redemptive activity in the world.
4. Our way of operating as an organization.
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute as an organization prizes people, teamwork, learning, and excellence.
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute seeks to be a people-centered organization. Staff, community, and supporters are at the center of all that MJTI does.
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute seeks to be a team-oriented organization that serves and builds together, recognizing the benefits and challenges of teamwork and fostering postive team dynamics. Team is central to the present health and future development of MJTI.
“Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is powerful and so rare” (Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team).
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute seeks to be a learning organization that is dedicated to growth, development, and continual improvement,
“where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see the whole together” (Peter Sense, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization).
Messianic Jewish Theological Institute seeks to be a high-performance organization that sets clear objectives, assesses performance, and strives for excellence. One expression is MJTI’s commitment to be a lean and flexible organization that focuses on what it is called to do in creative ways and partners with others who share MJTI’s vision and values.