About / Values

At the Institute for Intellectual Formation & Skeptical Inquiry, our educational philosophy is oriented around four foundational values:

Intellectual Honesty

We are committed to the disinterested pursuit of truth; thus, our beliefs must be grounded in sound argument and evidence, rather than personal opinion, private feeling, or subjective preference. This commitment requires an attitude of critical self-awareness about our presuppositions, as well as the limits of our research methods.

Free and Open Dialogue

We insist upon a learning environment that prizes critical thought, welcomes informed dissent, and facilitates orderly debate. Our attendees are encouraged to express their perspectives, and when appropriate, engage in rational argument.

Mutual Edification

We place great worth on the opportunity to benefit from the insights and experiences of our fellow participants. Further, though we may find ourselves in disagreement with others, we will nevertheless accord respect to the voice of competing views.

Interdisciplinary Approach

While it is our position that scripture is (when properly understood) the final authority on matters of belief and practice within the church, we do not insist that scripture is the only source of information about the world. Accordingly, we affirm the value of knowledge derived from the arts and sciences, and attempt to bring such knowledge to bear In relation to questions in a biblical category.