The Davenant Institute seeks to retrieve the riches of classical Protestantism in order to renew and build up the contemporary church.
- To fortify evangelical Christian laypeople with the confidence that orthodox Protestant doctrinal and moral convictions are rationally grounded in reality, history, and Scripture.
- To equip evangelical pastors to more effectively counsel and shepherd their flocks by drawing on the insights of classical Protestant moral theology and spirituality.
- To aid evangelicals serving in government and public policy to more effectively pursue justice by drawing on and creatively applying the collective wisdom of classical Protestant ethical and political theory.
- To show critically-minded evangelical students that the Protestant tradition is vibrant, intellectually compelling, and comprehensively catholic.
- To transmit the vibrancy of this heritage through the demonstration that it can be creatively drawn upon to address challenges that are, in some respects, unique to our own era and context.
We achieve these goals by building networks of friendship and collaboration among evangelical scholars committed to Protestant resourcement, publishing resources old and new to address these five needs, and offering training and discipleship for Christians thirsting after wisdom.
Those calling for theologically-serious but open-minded and dynamic retrieval of the past for the sake of the present have often felt like voices crying in the wilderness.
The Davenant Institute is named for the irenic English Reformed scholar and Bishop of Salisbury John Davenant (1572-1641), who exemplified the Golden Age of English ecclesiastical learning. As the President of Queens’ College Cambridge (1614-21), Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University (1609-23), and Bishop of Salisbury (1621-41), he modeled a theology that was forthrightly Reformed in the essentials and encouraged charity, diversity, and vigorous discussion in non-essentials. He is particularly known for his instrumental role as a member of the English delegation at the Synod of Dort, where he successfully advocated a more moderate and Reformational formulation of the Calvinist theology of grace.
The Davenant Institute is committed to the system of doctrine contained in the Reformed Protestant family of confessions, represented chiefly by the Augsburg Confession (Variata), the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Second Helvetic Confession, the Three Forms of Unity, the Westminster Confession, and the London Baptist Confession.