My Faith Journey Essay Topics
If you’re looking at attending a religious university or Christian college, congratulations! These institutions provide students with a focused environment where it’s much less likely you’ll be required to struggle against the intolerant views of blatantly anti-Christian professors and students.
When you’re staring at a mountain of admissions applications and entrance essay instructions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. When the essay instruction reads, My Personal Statement of Faith, the uncertainty of knowing how to put into words your most deeply held convictions – especially if you’re not all that clear on what you believe – can be petrifying.
There’s no need to be intimidated, however. A personal statement of faith is nothing more than a short explanation of your spiritual beliefs. If you aren’t yet clear on your personal beliefs, there’s no better time than now to determine exactly what foundation will be the basis for your life.
Here’s a thorough guide detailing what topics an admissions committee will expect to find in your statement of faith. Feel free to be creative, personal, and enthusiastic; make it you’re own!
What do you believe about the Scriptures?
The Holy Bible is world’s best selling, most oft-quoted, yet most underestimated book. What do you believe about it? What does it mean in your everyday life? Have you ever even read it? Even if you decide to attend a secular university, knowledge of the Bible is indispensable to understanding everything from literary allusions to why you should avoid credit card scams the week of freshman orientation.
In your statement of faith, everything depends on what you believe about the Bible. If you don’t believe it’s the Word of God, everything else you believe will need some basis for belief. For example, if you think the Bible is a collection of fairy tales, yet you believe in heaven, you’ll need to have a solid reason for your belief in the afterlife other than wishful thinking.
Deciding to believe the Bible as it’s plainly written makes it much easier to settle on what is objectively true, not just what you hope is true. After all, a statement of faith without any logical starting point is just an exercise in creative writing.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. Write the answers as your statement of faith.
- What is the Bible: God’s perfect word or man’s collective writings? Make sure to begin each statement with, “I believe…”
- How do you believe the Bible was written: by divine inspiration, or by random processes?
- Do you believe the Bible is inerrant and infallible – meaning, without error and unable to fail, or do you believe it has flaws?
- Why do you believe the Bible is still around today?
- Do you believe the Bible has been altered over time or do you believe it’s been preserved for every generation?
After each of your belief statements, it’s important to cite your rationale from Scripture. It’s helpful to know what the Bible says to offer a logical basis for your beliefs.
- What do you believe about God?
- Do you believe in the Trinity, that God exists as a Three-in-One being as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit?
- Do you believe that the three persons of the Godhead worked together in the Creation?
- Speaking of the Creation, do you believe God created the world in six evening-and-morning days, or that the world developed much more slowly than Genesis 1 states? This is pivotal.
What do you believe about Jesus?
- Do you believe Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Creator?
- Do you believe Jesus Christ was physically born of a virgin according to ancient prophecy?
- Do you believe Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he rose again on the third day?
- Do you believe that Jesus was the Messiah, foretold by prophecy, presented as King of the Jews but rejected; that he is equal with God yet humbled himself to the point of death, and that every knee will one day bow to him and declare him Lord?
Some other important belief statements
Obviously, what you believe about the Bible, God, and Jesus are the bedrock foundational elements of any Christian belief system. There are many others that are also vitally important. Although it’s by no means an exhaustive list, here are some basic questions to get you started.
- What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit?
- Do you believe anyone who receives Christ receives the Holy Spirit?
- Do you believe Satan can act without God’s approval?
- Do you believe all men have sinned?
- Do you believe man can perform works of righteousness to clear himself of his sin?
- Do you believe man was created in the image of God?
- Do you believe that whoever believes in Jesus Christ shall not perish but have everlasting life?
- Do you believe God’s sheep, the believers in Christ, can ever fall out of God’s hand?
- What is the purpose of the church?
- What do you believe about baptism?
- What do you believe about the Lord’s Supper?
- What do you believe about the will of God?
- What do you believe about the rapture, the great tribulation, and the Second Coming?
- What do you believe about heaven and hell?
If you’re unclear on some of these questions, no problem; stick to the points you’re certain about, and don’t expect yourself to know every answer. Let this be a starting point to decide what you do believe on each of these points so that by the time you graduate, you can build the rest of your life on the solidity of truth, not the sinking sand of uncertainty.
The key to your Statement of Faith is just that; it is your statement. Your words should represent your faith, beliefs and your relationship with Go.
When I applied to grad school, one of the essays asked me to describe my journey of faith. This is what I wrote.
I have a mentor that I call Scott the Wizard, because his name is Scott and he is wise like a wizard.
One day he told me that the core of the Christian life was summed up in the story of the prodigal son. The prodigal son is living in a pigsty, having lost all of his father’s money. And his response is not to earn the money back, nor to enroll in a 12-step program or buy a self-help book. Instead, the son gets up, and goes home, and when his father sees him, he runs to embrace his son.
Scott the Wizard explained that the core of the Christian life is simply to come home and be in the presence of the Father. Once you’re home, there is time for cleaning off the smell of the pigsty or resuming the responsibilities of sonship. But the first step is just to come home and receive the love of the father.
Or, as Henri Nouwen puts it, “The question is not ‘How am I to find God?’ but ‘How am I to let myself be found by Him?’… God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.”
As my faith has grown and matured, I have been profoundly influenced by this truth. I believe that the core of my Christian faith is not about right behavior or right doctrine (although both are valuable), but instead right identity and right relationship — to know myself as a child of God and to let myself be loved by God.
My understanding of how to relate to others has focused on that single point as well. My role is not to convince or fix or save — it’s just to love and let my love point to the love of God. Others tell me that I have a gift of encouragement, and I feel I have a calling to people who struggle with identity and acceptance.
But I think it’s simpler than that. Mr. Rogers said, “When we look for what’s best in a person, we’re doing what God does all the time.” That’s what I try to do.
I want people to know they are lovable, so I try to offer unconditional acceptance and invite people into community. And I want people to see themselves the way God sees them, so I try to offer affirmation and point to the beauty God placed in them. Sometimes this takes the form of formal ministry roles (like the care team at my church) but mostly I just try to love the people God puts in my path.
Of course, it took me some time to reach this point. When I was in elementary school, my faith was strictly a matter of hope — it was something I clung to when nothing else was okay. When I was in middle school, my faith was like a workout regime — reading my Bible and praying made me “spiritually stronger”, and being strong was an end in itself.
It was not until high school that I started to realize that faith was about loving other people, not until college that I began to realize how much God truly loved me — and not until the past few years that God has crystallized my calling towards people who feel they don’t belong.
Today my faith plays out in a variety of ways. I faithfully attend a wonderful church called Vox Veniae, which I love because I feel part of the liturgy, not an audience member. Henri Nouwen and Brennan Manning live on my bookshelf and tell me that God loves me and that I can join Him in loving other people. I am good friends with lawyers and artists, teachers and strippers, and I see Jesus in all of them.
In everything, I do my best to set my sights on home — where my Father is waiting to embrace me and remind me that I am His child. There are many distractions and detours on the path homeward, but I believe that I will one day fully realize the truth expressed by the Apostle John:
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!”