Founded in 2005, the Institute for Principle Studies (IPS) is a Christian discipleship ministry dedicated to teaching the Biblical case for the proper role of government.

IPS plays a pivotal role in reforming society by restoring the institutions of family government, church government and civil government back to their God-ordained roles.

Vision, Mission, Principles

VISION

A society where the family, the church, and the state are operating within their biblical spheres of authority as well as fulfilling their God-given duties.

MISSION

To return each God-ordained government back to its biblically prescribed role by changing hearts and minds.

PRINCIPLES

IPS adheres to, promotes, and teaches the following principles of freedom:

• Absolute Truth
• High Moral Character
• Limited Government
• Private Contract
• Rule of Law
• Sphere Sovereignty
• Free Markets
• Individual Liberty
• Personal Responsibility
• Private Property
• Unalienable Rights
• Proper Submission & Resistance

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History



The Institute for Principle Studies grew from a grassroots effort in Modesto, California, in the early 1990’s.

A local church decided to revamp its outreaches by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of its ministries. A church-wide survey and dozens of member meetings produced a list of hundreds of suggestions for addressing unmet needs.

The need for instruction on how to apply biblical principles to matters of voting, citizenship, and government was one of the most frequently cited unmet needs in the church.

In response to these results, the church formed a team, which included Michael Winther, the future founder and current president of IPS, and tasked them with the objective of creating a course on the subject.

After ample trial, the result was a course that taught the principles, philosophy, and purpose of government from a Christian perspective.

Interest in this course material soon spread beyond the original church, which sparked a new ministry. Thus, in 2005, Mike Winther officially founded the Institute for Principle Studies to carry this work forward.

The Institute for Principle Studies grew from a grassroots effort in Modesto, California, in the early 1990’s.

A local church decided to revamp its outreaches by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of its ministries. A church-wide survey and dozens of member meetings produced a list of hundreds of suggestions for addressing unmet needs.

The need for instruction on how to apply biblical principles to matters of voting, citizenship, and government was one of the most frequently cited unmet needs in the church.

In response to these results, the church formed a team, which included Michael Winther, the future founder and current president of IPS, and tasked them with the objective of creating a course on the subject.

After ample trial, the result was a course that taught the principles, philosophy, and purpose of government from a Christian perspective.

Interest in this course material soon spread beyond the original church, which sparked a new ministry. Thus, in 2005, Mike Winther officially founded the Institute for Principle Studies to carry this work forward.


What We Do

Research

With precious few exceptions, the Christian community has retreated from intellectual rigor in its approach to difficult issues.  IPS fills this gap by providing biblically principled thought and the quality research necessary to support it.

Teach

IPS centralizes its instruction on principles relating to the three God-ordained institutions of family government, church government, and civil government.  Simultaneously, IPS expounds the biblical basis for the free market economic system.

Train

Through speech and debate, IPS is preparing the next generation of leaders to be impactful advocates for Christ and liberty.  By equipping students with dynamic skills of speech, logic, reasoning and persuasion, young leaders are prepared to change the world no matter the challenges they face.

Train

Through speech and debate and small group discussions, IPS is preparing the next generation of leaders to be impactful advocates for Christ and liberty.  By equipping them with the dynamic skills of speech, logic,  reasoning and persuasion, these young leaders will be prepared to change the world no matter the challenges they face.

How We Do It

ADULT & PARENT EDUCATION

Change doesn’t begin in the White House, but in each individual’s house. To meet that end, IPS implements a range of classes, conferences, and seminars that are designed for adults and homeschool families. These teaching formats and topics expose families to a view of civics, history, and economics that cannot be found in the classroom or the media.

The flagship offering that IPS conducts on a regular basis is the foundational Biblical Principles of Government course. This comprehensive worldview series addresses the central question of political science, which is: “What is the proper role of government?” Lying at the heart of every political debate, answering this question produces enormous impact. Most families exit the course with a brand new paradigm for evaluating appropriate government action.

TEACHER & STUDENT TRAINING

Besides small group discussions, IPS predominantly influences teachers and students through the academic and competitive activity of speech and debate.

Through debate, students gain an interest in government and public policy along with the invaluable skills of research, logic, and speaking. Additionally, within the activity, IPS organizes and hosts workshops for educators to teach them principles of government and economics – reaching beyond the clubs and into the classroom.

IPS manages and runs its own private Christian school speech and debate league, the Logos Forensic Association (LFA), as well as operates within the Stoa USA Christian homeschool speech and debate league. Combined, these leagues represent enormous opportunity to train tomorrow’s future leaders today.

CHURCH & PASTORAL OUTREACH

Since many of the principles that IPS teaches originate in the Bible, IPS acts as a catalyst for both thought and research to assist churches and the broader Christian community. By meeting with pastors, hosting classes, providing insight, and recommending materials, IPS helps pastors and Christian organizations understand the Biblically limited roles of government.

PUBLISHING & MULTIMEDIA

IPS expands beyond its direct teaching ministry by including high quality, professional audio, video, and printed resources that are used to educate and influence thousands of individuals and leaders across America and around the world.

Through journals, articles, newsletters, curriculum, and the internet, IPS develops deep, well-reasoned materials that last and resonate beyond the “sound-bite” era of our time.

CURATED BOOK & DIGITAL OFFERINGS

A major influence on one’s thinking is reading good books. It is no surprise, then, that a large part of the IPS ministry includes reviewing and selling quality books that positively influence those who read them. Instead of selling whatever politically-inclined books happen to be on the bestseller list, IPS rigorously evaluates and carefully selects titles that align with solid and true teaching on government, economics, and history.

Staff

MIke Winther

Mike Winther

Founder & President

Brian Eschen

Director of Operations

Steven Butner

Marketing & Development

Diana Higginson

LFA Program Coordinator

Jenna Hermle

Editor of Principle Perspective

Board of Directors

MIke Winther

Mike Winther

President

Phil Olsson

Treasurer

George Sechrist

Secretary

Scholars Council


The IPS Scholars Council is an advisory body of people formally constituted to provide educational expertise and insight. Drawing from each member’s respective field, scholars assist the educational efforts of IPS by providing research, lecturing and writing articles. The advisory committee consists of scholars and experts in the academic fields of political science, economics, history, and theology.

Dr. Shawn Ritenour

Grove City College

Dr. Marshall Foster

World History Institute

Gregory Rehmke

Economic Thinking

Dr. Ninos Malek

De Anza College

Dr. Max Lyons

F.A.C.E.

Statement of Faith



We Believe...

…that the Holy Scriptures, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are fully inspired by God and are therefore infallible in the original writings and completely trustworthy in all areas in which they speak.

…that there is only one eternal, almighty and perfect God.  Within the Being of this one true God exist three eternally distinct and coequal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three Persons, also referred to as the Trinity, are the one true God.

…that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who took upon Himself human flesh through the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary.  He who is true God became true man, uniting two natures in one person forever.  Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into Heaven where He now serves as our High Priest, our only Mediator.

…that the Holy Spirit is the eternal Third Person of the Triune God, the Regenerator and Sanctifier of the redeemed, the Bestower of spiritual fruit and gifts, and the abiding Advocate who empowers believers for godly living and service.

…that Adam was directly created without sin and in the image of God and did not evolve from preexisting forms of life.  Through the fall of Adam that image of God in humanity has been defiled, although not eradicated.  Every human being is radically corrupt and estranged from God.  Human beings are condemned by God because of their descent into sin through their relationship to Adam.  The desperate need of humanity is forgiveness of sins and consequent restoration of fellowship with God; yet humans remain totally unable to atone for and restore themselves.

…that Jesus’ death on the cross provided a substitutiary atonement for the sins of humanity.  We believe that man is justified (saved) by grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ without any mixture of works.

…in the existence of Satan and that hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment for him, his host, and all unbelievers.

…that the Christian church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Corporately and individually, its members strive to worship, serve, and glorify God through prayer and praise, diligent study and application of the Scriptures, evangelism, sanctified living, good works, and observance of the rites of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The mission of the church is the discipleship of all nations – not only the saving of souls but also the bringing of the gospel to bear on every aspect of life and thought.

…that the Holy Scriptures, comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, are fully inspired by God and are therefore infallible in the original writings and completely trustworthy in all areas in which they speak.

…that there is only one eternal, almighty and perfect God.  Within the Being of this one true God exist three eternally distinct and coequal Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  These three Persons, also referred to as the Trinity, are the one true God.

…that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who took upon Himself human flesh through the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary.  He who is true God became true man, uniting two natures in one person forever.  Christ lived a perfect, sinless life, died on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into Heaven where He now serves as our High Priest, our only Mediator.

…that the Holy Spirit is the eternal Third Person of the Triune God, the Regenerator and Sanctifier of the redeemed, the Bestower of spiritual fruit and gifts, and the abiding Advocate who empowers believers for godly living and service.

…that Adam was directly created without sin and in the image of God and did not evolve from preexisting forms of life.  Through the fall of Adam that image of God in humanity has been defiled, although not eradicated.  Every human being is radically corrupt and estranged from God.  Human beings are condemned by God because of their descent into sin through their relationship to Adam.  The desperate need of humanity is forgiveness of sins and consequent restoration of fellowship with God; yet humans remain totally unable to atone for and restore themselves.

…that Jesus’ death on the cross provided a substitutiary atonement for the sins of humanity.  We believe that man is justified (saved) by grace through faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ without any mixture of works.

…in the existence of Satan and that hell is a place of eternal conscious punishment for him, his host, and all unbelievers.

…that the Christian church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Corporately and individually, its members strive to worship, serve, and glorify God through prayer and praise, diligent study and application of the Scriptures, evangelism, sanctified living, good works, and observance of the rites of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The mission of the church is the discipleship of all nations – not only the saving of souls but also the bringing of the gospel to bear on every aspect of life and thought.

Ministry Reports


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IPS has the right philosophy and the best strategy. You have the ability to get this message in the hands of others. Together, we can address the root causes of America’s decline and save our society.