Francis Schaeffer Institute

Our Purpose
Our Vision
FSI History
FSI Leadership
FSI Ministries
Upcoming FSI Events

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute (FSI) is to train God's servants to demonstrate compassionately and defend reasonably the claims of Christ upon the whole of life. To this end, FSI upholds the following commitments:

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Our Vision

The Church is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person. Unfortunately, Christians can retreat into a subculture due to fear of the surrounding society. Many do not understand or are unsure how to respond to secularism, postmodernism, New Age spirituality, and the challenges of science and technology. Instead of seeking to grow in understanding, Christians can withdraw behind defensive barriers for protection.

The tragedy is that the barriers work both ways. They not only keep the culture away from Christians, but they also keep the Gospel away from those who need it. We can begin to develop an "us versus them" mentality which isolates us from our neighbors and prevents others from hearing the Gospel and seeing it at work in our lives. We often are regarded merely as "religious," not as earnestly concerned for truth.

The goal of the Schaeffer Institute is to assist Christians in breaking down these barriers, to become more faithful and effective in evangelism, and to become more obedient to God's Word in all areas of life. We seek to do this by training Christians to observe and understand the culture in which they live, and by modeling respectful dialogue with those who are not Christians. In this way we hope to prepare Christians to be involved effectively as salt and light beyond the Church in the wider culture.

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FSI History

Biblical Christianity is more than religion; it is the truth. This foundational principle was the focus of the life and ministry of the late Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer, who through writings and lectures over three decades proclaimed to an international audience the relevance of the Christian worldview for all aspects of modern society. As a tribute to and continuation of this legacy, Covenant Seminary established the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute in 1989.

Covenant Seminary's relationship with Dr. Schaeffer and his wife, Edith, extends back almost to the Seminary's beginning. In 1955, the Schaeffers founded L'Abri Fellowship in the Swiss Alps as a community where people could come to find honest answers to difficult questions about life and the world. Soon known throughout Europe for his ministry, for which Time magazine described him as the "apostle to the intellectuals," Dr. Schaeffer began in 1965 teaching apologetics courses every other year at Covenant Seminary.

The Francis A. Schaeffer Institute (FSI) is dedicated to Dr. and Mrs. Schaeffer's vision of teaching Christians to bring every area of their lives under the liberating Lordship of Christ and to share this Gospel message with others.

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FSI Leadership and Scholarship

Jerram BarrsProfessor Jerram Barrs, longtime associate of Dr. Schaeffer, worked with the L'Abri Fellowship in England for several years before coming to the United States. Professor Barrs serves as Resident Scholar of FSI and as Professor of Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture for the Seminary. His ministries include speaking, teaching, and writing. Professor Barrs is in great demand as a speaker across the country and the world.

Luke BoboLuke Bobo serves as the Director of the Franics A. Schaeffer Institute. A former Senior Project Engineer at Boeing, Luke also has experience in Christian Education, youth, and children's ministries.

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FSI Ministries

FSI seeks to accomplish its mission through a variety of ministries that encourage students to engage compassionately yet courageously with our contemporary culture.


Francis A. Schaeffer Lecture Series
Friday Nights @ the Institute
Discussions @ the Institute
Art @ the Institute
Movie Nights @ the Institute
FSI Perspectives
Schaeffer Institute Library


Francis A. Schaeffer Lecture Series

Twice a year FSI brings noted speakers to St. Louis to give a series of lectures on a topic of contemporary interest to the Church and to the broader community. The public is invited and can register to earn academic credit for these lectures through Covenant Seminary. Downloadable audio files (in MP3 format) of many of the lectures are available through Covenant Seminary's Ministry Resources. Audio tapes, CDs, and sometimes video tapes of lectures are also available through our Audiovisual department.

Find out about upcoming Francis A. Schaeffer Lectures.

Listen to audio files from past Schaeffer Lectures (search "Schaeffer Lectures").

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Friday Nights @ the Institute

FSI's Friday Nights @ the Institute (FN@TI) series offers engaging presentations and discussions on current cultural topics. The goal is to present in a public forum the idea that the Christian message is not confined to a narrow religious horizon. Through FN@TI, Seminary faculty, students, and other Christians from a variety of professional fields seek to model to Christians and the community at large how to lovingly and winsomely engage our postmodern culture.

For information on starting a ministry similar to Friday Nights @ the Institute in your area, please call FSI at 314-434-4044 or e-mail fsi@covenantseminary.edu.

See the current FN@TI schedule.

Listen to presentations from past FN@TI events (search "Friday Nights").

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Discussions @ the Institute

Discussions @ the Institute offers opportunities for informal and open discussion of various topics relevant to the Church and culture. It is a time for Covenant Seminary students and other members of the Seminary community to share thoughts, opinions, and questions and hear the same from others. The discussions will take place in the Schaeffer Institute living room on campus. All are welcome to attend.

See the current Discussions @ the Institute Schedule.

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Art @ the Institute

Art @ the Institute believes that all human artistic expressions reflect God's own creativity, and that under the Lordship of Christ, they can be redeemed and used in a way that honors Him, the Supreme Artist. Because of this, our ministry seeks to encourage artistic endeavors and reflection by bringing exhibits, lectures, and concerts, while engaging the community in a dialogue about issues of art and faith.

See the current Art @ the Institute Schedule.

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Movie Nights @ the Institute

Cinema has become one of the most powerful and influential mediums of our day. Films and filmmakers -- and the worldviews and agendas they bring with them to their art -- have an unprecedented ability to enlighten or change the way we see history and change our views on social and political issues. As Christians we are to affirm what is truthful, noble, and beautiful in movies, but we are also to give answers to the questions films present and give correction to ideas they present that do not speak truth. To this end, Movie Nights @ the Institute seeks to train seminarians to:

See the current Movie Nights @ the Institute Schedule.

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FSI Perspectives
Perspectives, published two times a year as a special feature within Covenant magazine offers articles and other information to aid Christians in commending the Gospel with compassion and reason. Perspectives looks at a wide range of social and cultural topics -- such as racial reconciliation, postmodernism, the relationship of faith and the arts, and more -- from a distinctively Christian viewpoint.

Receive Perspectives with a free subscription to Covenant magazine.

Look for more FSI messages by searching topics of interest through our

Ministry Resources.

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Schaeffer Institute Library

More than 1,000 Schaeffer Institute cassette tapes are located in Covenant Seminary's J. Oliver Buswell Library. A major portion of these are recordings of lectures, sermons, and addresses given by Dr. Schaeffer himself during his ministry. The remaining tapes represent individuals connected with L'Abri Fellowship. The cassettes cover a wide range of material from Biblical book studies and counseling topics to lectures on philosophy and the arts.

In addition to these cassettes, the library keeps a collection of books and articles by various authors on subjects pertinent to Schaeffer Institute studies, including selected papers by Covenant Seminary students. All of Dr. Schaeffer's works, which have sold more than three million copies, are in the library, as are his well-known film series How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Also available are books by Edith Schaeffer and, in the PCA Historical Center in the Buswell Library, many of Dr. Schaeffer's public and private correspondence. All of these resources are available to students and the community.

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Covenant Theological Seminary
12330 Conway Road, Saint Louis, Missouri 63141
Phone: 314.434.4044      Fax: 314.434.4819

The Seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)

Covenant Theological Seminary

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