Vista House models Christian hospitality, community, and the arts in a way seldom attempted in secular university settings.
Vista House, a 5 bedroom home set on 8.5 acres of land, provides an inviting space where 6-8 students live in intentional Christian community in a life shaped by prayer, hospitality, and service. Their commitment to forming a welcoming Christian community extends outwards towards guests who come to engage in conversation, partake of biweekly meals, tend the organic garden, play in folk and bluegrass sessions, or who spend a few days in our guest rooms in personal retreat.
Many students who have participated in the Christian community of Vista House go on to lives of service by working in church related ministries, poverty related ministries or other international Christian humanitarian organizations like the International Justice Mission. Although the number of annual residents at Vista House is small, the positive collateral impact is global in scope.
Like the ‘Forum’, Vista House appeals to those who long to explore the breadth and depth of the “whole” Gospel of Jesus Christ. Vista House provides a unique and non-threatening sacred space for engaging in the habits and practices of authentic Christian community. We seek to provide a corrective to one-dimensional versions of Christianity by offering a Christian community committed to a more holistic approach and known for its thoughtful, open and humble spirit. In so doing we believe we have discovered or rather rediscovered an effective context for fostering faithful disciples.
——-QUOTES ABOUT VISTA HOUSE——-
“My experience with Mere Christianity Forum includes living in the Vista House for two consecutive years. The Vista House is the purest form of Christian hospitality I have ever experienced. Students live together, study together, pray together, eat together, and serve the Furman community and beyond with meals, music, conversation, and a warm and inviting place for retreat. The Vista House nourishes the soul with Christian fellowship and peaceful retreat— nourishment for a world that is starved of peace. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, living in the Vista House has defined my college experience.”
Emily Robinson, Senior Vista House Resident, Spanish Major, North Carolina
“I have nothing but praise for MCF. What I liked most was its aspirational character – students have seen plenty of the “sweatshirt and sneakers” style of campus ministry that is really only slightly grown up youth work. MCF has a character that brings out the best in students who are beginning to imagine what adult faith, adult roles, and adult conversation might really be like… It is everything I wanted as an undergraduate but sadly never experienced at that stage in my own life. By not being part of a national syndicate it means the students can genuinely make it their own. But it somehow remains free of the formulaic quality of some para-church ministries and the worn-out ministry of many mainline groups. It was a blessing to me and I hope it will long flourish.”
Rev. Canon Dr. Sam Wells, Dean of the Chapel, Professor of Christian Ethics, Duke University
“MCF is very important because it fills the gap between Christian groups that do Bible study and sing praise music, and other clubs or fraternities that do not offer a Christian perspective. MCF provides a safe place for those exploring their faith and seeking understanding. Nonjudgmental, it welcomes all types and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It nurtures and encourages while going deep on issues of faith. I support it precisely because it is what I needed when I was in college.”
Calvin Edwards, Mere Christianity Forum Board of Directors, Atlanta, GA, Non-Profit Consultant