Studying InterVarsity's Doctrinal Basis

All Scripture is God breathed and is profitable for doctrine … so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

A Fresh Approach
InterVarsity staff member Thomas L. Trevethan has written a seven-part study guide for reflecting on InterVarsity’s Doctrinal Basis. In this guide, Tom invites us to read the Basis as a succinct summary of the essential truths disclosed in the Bible and to “deepen [our] understanding of the revelation of God by exploring it in the context of selected passages of Scripture.”

Study of the Doctrinal Basis will help us understand God’s vision for our life and help us set a pattern of behavior that will please the Lord, advance the kingdom of God, and bless our entire life.

The individual studies in the study guide are not addressed to each sentence in the Basis but to those statements that seemed both most basic and contested.

These are the truths that are most apt to be squeezed out of us in the spiritually hostile environment of the contemporary university. They are also what we take to be the most foundational issues, the perennial issues, for understanding and growing in Christian faith. These are the truths that have fired the zeal of faithful believers through the ages. These are the truths that ordinary men and women have confessed as they followed their Lord in suffering service and even martyrdom. These are the truths that have been the vehicle of revival and renewal in many cultures over many years. These are the first and the eternal things.


The first study guide examines John 14 and the doctrine of God as triune. Tom asks us to notice distinctive truths within the narrative, and then he asks a series of questions, such as, “How does Jesus relate love and obedience?” that stimulate our reflection and discussion within a small group. Subsequent chapters offer Bible studies about the nature of Jesus as fully human and fully divine, the meaning of the cross, Justification through Jesus Christ alone, and our eternal destiny.


Within the guides, each passage of Scripture is given a doctrinal truth and application to life. Tom urges those who use the study guide to linger on the applications, reflecting on their significance in our personal lives. Evading the applications of biblical truths, says Tom, “has given doctrinal teaching a bad name. . . .”

Finally, each study guide concludes with suggestion for further reading.

Though these studies were originally produced for the benefit of InterVarsity staff and students, we offer them to you as an encouragement to your own spiritual development. We pray that you will find them as edifying and inspiring as we do.

To access Faith, Vision, and the Glory of God: Seven discussion guides for Bible study, based on the InterVarsity Doctrinal Basis in a PDF format, please visit…/Seven_discussion_guides_for_Bible_study.pdf. 

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA shares the gospel of Jesus Christ with students and faculty of every ethnicity across the United States, trains them in mature Christian discipleship, and prepares them for world-changing, servant leadership in the world. Through our participation in the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, we help students and faculty in other nations know Christ and grow in his grace.