Diversity Statement Section 7.51 Dept: N/A Revised: August 6th, 2006

Approved by the Board of Trustees
May 23, 1997

PUBLIC DOCUMENT:

We believe that Biola University has been uniquely situated within a geographic region of great diversity in language, culture, and ethnicity for the purpose of fulfilling its mission of biblically-centered education, scholarship, and service.

Within this cultural milieu the University is called not only to respect this diversity, but to reflect it as well, for Christ intends his Church to be a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-national body of believers.

We believe it is our purpose, therefore, to create an environment in which all believers, regardless of race, color, national origin,gender, age, economic status or physical ability, can pursue knowledge and personal development as they strive to become all God intends them to be.

In order to maximize the learning of students and expose them to the diversity that exists in the culture at large, we seek to foster an understanding and appreciation of those elements in every culture which enhance human dignity and are consistent with scriptural teaching.

We are dedicated to expanding opportunities for Christians of all cultures, and ethnic backgrounds to attend Biola, to be employed here, and to participate in the fellowship and mission to which we are called, always keeping in mind our desire to pursue excellence in all we do.

We are committed to work for the establishment of a community composed of believers from every race, culture, and class who are united in their devotion to Jesus Christ, their obedience to His Word, and in their willingness to serve one another.

Biola University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnic group identification, gender, age, or physical or mental disability.  However, as a private religious institution, the University reserves the right to exercise preference on the basis of religion in all of its employment practices and student admissions.

INTERNAL  DOCUMENT:

Notes on Biblical/Theological Foundations for Diversity Statement

We believe that all men and women are created in the image of God resulting in a foundational unity,and that our racial, cultural, gender,and linguistic diversity reflects the intent and imaginative design of our Creator (Gen. 1:27; Acts 17:26-28), as well as the consequences of the fall.

We believe that God is redeeming some from “every nation, tribe, people and language,” and that we, in our diverse identities, will add our unique contributions to His eternal praise (Rev. 5:9-10; 7:9-10; 21:23-26).

We also believe that today, through faith in Christ, God is creating a “new person”--a new citizenship that transcends but does not erase our individual ethnic, social, and gender distinctions.  This new faith-citizenship is named in recognition of the love relationship we have with our Savior—we are “Christians” (Eph. 2:14-22; Col. 3:10-11; Gal. 3:26-28; Acts 11:19-26).

As Christians, therefore, we will imitate our Savior who crossed all social, racial and gender boundaries to share God’s redeeming love (Matt. 9:9-13; Mark 7:24-30; Luke 17:11-19; John 4:4-42).  We will imitate the early believers who yielded their cultural prerogatives in order to gather all nations,  peoples  and classes into  a community  that demonstrated  the unifying  power of their faith (I Cor. 9:19-23; Acts 6:1-7; 13:1-3; 18:26; Rom. 16:1-2). 

We believe, finally, that our diversities in background, thought, and practice will continue to enrich our personal lives as we submit them to be critiqued and evaluated by the authoritative words of Scripture.  We are convinced of the words of our Lord: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).