Our evangelical and historic Friends heritage (Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends) forms an essential foundation for a strong emphasis on social justice that makes our commitment to diversity a matter of deep conviction and principle.
George Fox University is a Christ-centered institution that values diversity as an essential dimension of what it means to be human. As a community we believe that racism and other forms of division are destructive to redemptive community. Scripture is clear that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit following the resurrection of Jesus Christ enacts a form of community that at once embraces and transcends our differences. In Jesus Christ our unique, individual identities are both preserved and liberated to engage in redemptive community and in the reconciling work of Christ in the world. We believe that God values each of us in our uniqueness. Therefore we seek to be a community that celebrates the uniqueness of each of its members, including one’s race and ethnicity.
We also acknowledge that our attempts to honor diversity in the present time arise from the recognition that we have sometimes failed to do this as well as we should have in the past. But God, through grace, reaches out to each new generation of human beings and attempts to show us the light of truth. We grasp pieces of this truth but miss others. Our knowledge is partial and incomplete (1 Corinthians 13:9). God lovingly prods us and shows us what we are capable of seeing, and we do our best (intermittently) to respond to the light that we can see. Yet we know from our own history and from the scriptural record of God’s relationships with human beings that we also miss the mark in some important ways.
Here we present a theological basis for our commitment to diversity—a statement that grapples honestly with both the high points and low points of our Quaker heritage and with the ambiguities regarding racial and ethnic diversity in Scripture.
George Fox University Mission and Values
The mission of the University is the following: “George Fox University, a Christ-centered community, prepares students spiritually, academically, and professionally to think with clarity, act with integrity, and serve with passion.” In addition, one of the institution’s core values speaks directly to reflecting the diversity of God’s people: “All people are created in God’s image. Therefore, George Fox University represents the ethnic, socio-economic, cultural, and gender diversity of the broader Kingdom of God. We provide opportunities for students to dialogue about issues of diversity and to live and study in diverse communities.”
On Society and Culture in Which We Live and Work
The university believes that the diversity of communities is an important resource in our society. The United States continues to diversify; estimates suggest that by the year 2040, the non-Hispanic white population will only account for 50 percent of the total U.S. population. To pursue excellence and quality in this diverse society requires an educational experience that acknowledges and appreciates the benefits of a diverse workforce and recognizes the reality of the world into which graduates are sent. As such, the George Fox University community must be diligent about learning how to create and nourish a diverse community on our campuses.