The principal purpose of the International Doctrine Council (IDC) is to serve the General and the global Salvation Army by being faithful custodians of Army doctrinal positions, whether those positions are to be found in the eleven Articles of Faith, in official Army publications, or in formal statements approved by the General.
The Purposes of the IDC
1) The IDC approaches all assignments entrusted to it bearing in mind the need to affirm, promote and safeguard the Army’s identity and role under God, in keeping with the council’s stewardship responsibilities toward Salvationist doctrinal, theological and ecclesiological positions.
2) The IDC recommends ways in which Army beliefs and doctrines might be taught and understood across the Army world, including international/zonal/territorial events, and through printed and electronic publications, keeping in mind the needs respectively of soldiers, cadets and officers.
3) The IDC advises the General on matters pertaining to the theological education of Salvationists, and especially of officers on active service.
4) The IDC assists the General in responding to current doctrinal, theological and ecclesiological issues.
5) The IDC, as approved by the General, interacts as appropriate with ecumenical organisations and similar bodies, proceeding in a manner consistent with the doctrinal and other official positions of the Army, and in accordance with Army protocols.
6) The IDC may, as approved by the General, enter into conversations with other churches or religious bodies, proceeding in a manner consistent with the doctrinal and other official positions of the Army, and in accordance with Army protocols. Such conversations may be structured or unstructured, formal or informal. The IDC will make recommendations to the General prior to the onset of such conversations with regard to rationale, expected outcomes, and any other key aspects.
7) The IDC engages with other Army international boards and councils as appropriate in the furtherance of IDC purposes.
8) The IDC keeps abreast of theological trends, maintaining appropriate contacts with relevant institutions and academics both inside and beyond the Army.
An introduction to doctrine
Commissioner Robert Street explains why doctrine is important [PDF]