The Institute for Justice Formation
The Institute for Justice Formation @ The John Leland Center for Theological Studies (IJF) exists: (1) to investigate and promote the transformational character of biblical justice for leaders and communities, and (2) to advocate—across all vocations—for leaders and lay persons in public marketplaces and private domains to do what is right and just intrinsically, to be a ‘profile in courage.’ Employing the multi-pronged investigative approach of worship, education, advocacy, and evaluation (plus systemic feedback) pursuant to its vision and mission, IJF will accomplish relevant and evolving goals and objectives through the synthesis or convergence of these approaches.
What Distinguishes IJF
The Vision of The Institute for Justice Formation is to embody authentic truth as well as serve as a catalyst for Biblical Justice in our world. However, our three-pronged approach of worship, education, and advocacy, premised upon God’s revelation of His righteousness and justice manifested as proactive support for the deconstruction of injustice in His world, sets us apart. The call to follow Christ is not all; rather, it is the genesis of everything IJF encompasses—worship, education, and advocacy intended to promote restoration of the oppressed and redemption for the oppressors.
IJF is further distinguished recognizing and embracing other professionals as either called ministers and stewards of God’s justice, or unwitting conduits through which God is accomplishing righteousness and justice. IJF will afford students, professors, pastors, and public servant’s opportunities to engage, learn from, advocate and worship with proponents of what is right and just across all professions, denominations, and cultures.
This perspective will ignite introspective inquiry about the difference between church theology, authentic Christianity, authentic justice, and cultural norms. More profoundly, this information will transform, equip, and energize students to proclaim and perform Kingdom theology.
The Primacy of Worship
In this context, divinely inspired collaborative education and advocacy is worship. Worship is glorifying God for His righteousness and justice and, the privilege of co-laboring with Jesus as agents of his righteousness and justice.
To this end, the called and converted must become transformed so that they not only espouse Biblical Justice, but also embody it—advocates who are called away from conformity to worldly systems and educated to confront structures that sustain worldly systems. Informing the called and converted about the divine command to contend with evil for the redemption and restoration of humanity is worship.
Equipping students to establish enduring, robust relationships between religious and cultural institutions (along with civic organizations or agencies) through a holistic program of education and advocacy in order to unify, inform, and encourage the application of Biblical Justice by leaders and their organizations is worship as well.
The Values of IJF are:
- Truth and meaning, as revealed in God’s Word and His creative nature, which is the foundation of Justice. Truth is the essence of the search for meaning.
- Integrity and sacrifice, as demonstrated by God’s faithfulness, which is the personification of Justice. Integrity compels sacrifice.
- Love, as demonstrated by God’s Grace through the compassion and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is the motivation for Justice.
- Community, as demonstrated by God’s command for inclusiveness—to love our neighbors as ourselves, which is the jurisdiction of justice.
- Empowerment, as demonstrated by Jesus’s merciful interaction with the blind, lame, diseased, and possessed. This is the volition of Justice.
- Action, to which we are called as children of God in order to bring healing to the wounded and seek peace in strife. This is the vehicle for Justice.
- Joy and shalom, the hallmark of human flourishing, which is the result of Justice. Joy is the sign of peace.