Institute of Faith and the Academy

Since its inception in 2005, the Institute of Faith and the Academy has sought to become part of an interdisciplinary conversation between Christian academics about how to better work and live as faithful teachers and scholars. Both to the faculty and administrators of Christian universities, and to the Christian professor in the secular school, IFA serves as a resource for institutions and individuals to labor in their vocation and to grow in their faith.

IFA Mission

Consider the following mission statements from premier American universities:

Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning….

Harvard University Mission Statement, 1636

…wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences (and) through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State.

Yale University Charter, 1701

The President and two-thirds of the trustees must be members of “regular Baptist churches…

University of Chicago, Articles of Incorporation, 1890

“Deo Volente” (“God willing.”)

Southern Illinois University motto, 1869

Because many state and private schools are ignoring their original charters, we believe that a Christ-centered mission is more critical than ever. Emphasizing a strictly materialist paradigm with strictly utilitarian aims, most institutions today are centers of  non-religious job training rather than places of thoughtful reflection, teaching technical skills instead of the education of the whole person. In a pluralistic society where religion is often marginalized, IFA encourages faculty to restore the voice of faith in the classroom and in scholarship.

To that end, we hold as our mission statement:

The Institute of Faith and the Academy is devoted to the research and reflection on how the Christian faith shapes and informs the study and teaching of all academic disciplines as well as how the Christian faith unites all fields of teaching and learning.

The Institute of Faith and the Academy promotes the investigation and demonstration of the Christian faith as the foundation of learning. In order to fulfill its purpose, the Institute offers three initiatives: (1) an annual spring conference; (2) a biannual journal, published in the spring and fall; (3) monthly faculty development opportunities in the form of presentations, discussion forums, and reading groups among Faulkner faculty and staff members and administrators.

IFA Initiatives

Journal of Faith and the Academy

IFA Conference 2023


Andrew Jacobs Co-Director
Taten Shirley Co-Director
Todd Brenneman
Rebecca Horn