ESDA’s Doctrinal Statement

For Member Spiritual Directors

ESDA seeks its spiritual directors to engage in their ministry work and spirituality on the basis of an evangelical theology. All ESDA spiritual directors affirm belief in the tenants listed below.

The theological perspective here outlined is specific enough to identify our spiritual directors as broadly evangelical, while also open enough to embrace the many different expressions of the evangelical faith throughout the church.

We crafted this confessional statement of belief through a communal process, consulting biblical scholars and thought leaders in evangelical Christianity.

  1. We believe that there is one true God, Who exists eternally in three Persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – indivisible and of one essence. He is the source and maker of all that is, seen and unseen.
  2. We believe that Jesus Christ is God, Lord of heaven and earth, the living eternal Word of God. He became incarnate by the power of the Holy Spirit through the miraculous virgin birth. He is fully God and fully man. He lived a sinless life, and through His suffering and death on the cross, voluntarily atoned for the sins of mankind. He was buried and on the third day, He rose from the grave in the same body, victorious over the powers of death and darkness. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, where He is Lord of all and makes intercession for His own. He is the sole mediator between God and mankind. Salvation is through Christ alone.
  3. We believe that Jesus Christ will come again to the earth, raise the dead, judge all mankind and establish His glorious Reign. We believe that those who put their faith in Christ will spend eternity with Him in His glory and those who reject Christ will be eternally separated from God and suffer the anguish of that separation.
  4. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Trinity. He convicts sinners and draws them to Christ; indwells, illuminates and empowers believers; and seals them until the day of redemption. He intercedes on behalf of believers and works sanctification in their lives.
  5. We believe that the Bible, the Old and New Testaments, is God’s authoritative and supernatural revelation, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are without error in the original manuscripts.
  6. We believe that mankind was created in the image of God, but all of mankind fell in the fall of the first Adam. He sinned by disobeying God and thereby, all mankind incur not only physical death, but spiritual death, which is separation and alienation from God. As a result, the nature of all mankind is corrupted, and no one is able to please God. All are in need of regeneration and rebirth by the Holy Spirit.
  7. We believe that salvation is a gift of God and the work of God’s free grace. It is not in any way the work of human endeavor or goodness or ceremony. God imputes Christ’s righteousness to those who put their faith alone in Christ for their salvation. They are justified solely on the ground of the shed blood of Christ and His atoning sacrifice.
  8. We believe that the Church consists of all who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior. Christ is the head of the Church, which is His Body and His Bride.
  9. We believe that it is God’s will for believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world, to disciple others and to grow into Christlikeness.