MTR’s Statement of Faith & Education
Our GOAL: Social change expected from the life and teaching of Jesus
The work of MTR is to invite teachers to love God, love students and work effectively, humbly and prayerfully within schools to provide quality and equal education in Memphis. Equal education matters so that all of this generation may experience society’s freedoms and choices, which are essentials of dignity and peace – belonging to human beings as made in God’s image. We believe the life and teaching of Jesus continue to command his followers to be a force for positive and significant social change. Among the resources of our faith are the ideas and truths offered below for the benefit of teachers and for their schools and students.
Our VISION: Restored Communities living with dignity and in peace
The vision of MTR is to use our specific work within education, in partnership with other holistic organizations, to help restore communities so that all individuals can become empowered contributors to our city and people of all races and classes can engage with one another in peace.
Our MISSION: Christian love expressed in equal education
As a response to the gospel mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves, MTR will partner to provide students in Memphis neighborhoods with the same, or better, quality of education as is available to any student in Memphis by recruiting, training and supporting effective teachers within a Christian context.
Our FAITH: “Christian context” explained through twelve biblical themes
The following themes – formed by the story of the Bible – inform, inspire and help define MTR’s “Christian context”:
(God, full of grace and mercy, loves us and works in and through us to…)
… believe the best,
We believe every follower of Christ has a dream, a grand vision, of all things made new under the gracious rule of Jesus Christ and one day, we are told, He Himself will fulfill the Dream; therefore, the teacher may bring hope to the classroom each day, seeing promise in their students and in themselves.
2. CHRISTIAN LOVE
We believe Jesus’ command to his people is to love God and love their neighbor as they love themselves; therefore, the teacher may believe in and offer Christian (agape) love as their method for good in their classrooms and schools.
do what is right,
We believe God’s purpose for mankind is to live in such a way that honors God and promotes peace (shalom) on earth; therefore, Christians are commanded to seek out places and systems that are not fair or right and work for a justice that both honors God and serves others.
4. IMAGE OF GOD
We believe all people are created by God and are made in his image and likeness; therefore, all students and colleagues have equal and innate worth and potential, and are to be respected and valued accordingly.
5. THE WELLS OF TODAY
show up faithfully in schools
We believe the God of the Bible is a sending God who invites his followers to go where the people are; therefore, schools, the wells of today, are places where God’s people may go daily to love and serve our city’s children.
6. BEGINNING WITH THE LEAST SERVED
– for all!
We believe that equal education is a common good promised by our nation and essential to all children for their well-being; therefore, as a Christian contribution to the common good, God’s people will work to provide the same, or better, quality of education, beginning first with the least served.
7. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES
Abiding in Him,
We believe that our struggle is not only against natural and social forces, but also against spiritual forces that seek to deny the image-bearing dignity of human beings; therefore, the teacher may rely on the resources and disciplines of faith to provide power to teach and live with effectiveness and joy.
receiving and then overflowing with joy and abundance
We believe the promises, love and hope found in Jesus Christ offer the teacher an identity as a child of God and a source of abundance and wholeness which supports effective teaching.
and recognizing effective teaching is a valid response to the gospel,
We believe public schools are diverse places where children of all religions may attend; therefore, we uphold keeping religious proselytizing out of the public classroom as an essential ingredient to student safety and learning.
we are empowered to build safe spaces
We believe Christian love offers solidarity and comfort to a community of teachers through the transcendent and unifying story of God revealed both in creation and in redemption; therefore, we invite and welcome a diverse group of high-potential individuals to combat a shortage of educators.
and do hard things
We believe the hard but good news is that a distinctive role of Christians in the world, and therefore also in schools, is to bear suffering and make sacrifices for the benefit of others, and for their own benefit.
for the benefit of others.
We believe God has sovereignly appointed his people to times and places and blessed them with purpose and power to be a blessing to the world; therefore, teachers may be agents of this blessing through their character and ethics.