In fulfillment of our mission to equip men and women in mind and character to impact the world for the Lord Jesus Christ, Biola University strives to live out the biblical mandate to pursue unity amidst our diversity. This mission and this mandate are rooted in the recognition that God has called a redeemed, diverse Church to help reconcile a diverse world to the Triune God and one another. As President of Biola University, my charge is that we will always choose Christ-like love over division—moving forward, and not backward—toward being a community that embodies and radiates Christ’s love. We will not waver in our biblical convictions to cultivate a community within our institution where everyone has an equal opportunity to flourish. Every one of us, the Bible says, has been made in the image of God.
In light of this mission and mandate, Biola is committed to both cultivating a campus community that reflects the rich diversity of the global kingdom of God as well as preparing students to be intellectually and experientially cross-cultural Christians living out the gospel in diverse settings. This means engaging one another not only with a gospel passion and conviction, but also with biblical humility that calls for intercultural competency. Indeed, these qualities of biblical humility and intercultural competency are inextricably linked and are part of what it means to be mature followers of Jesus Christ.
The Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan will allow for greater flourishing of God’s vision for unity amidst diversity on our campus and beyond. It is fully grounded in Biola’s Theological Statement on Diversity which was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in January 2019. The plan seeks to create pathways and remove barriers so that all members of our community can learn and thrive. To do so, we must build mutually edifying interpersonal relationships and continue more than ever to work towards being a just and equitable university. In creating such a thriving intercultural community, grounded in God’s truth and defined by Christ’s love, Biola University will serve as a counter-cultural witness to the world, a world that all too often sees diversity through lenses outside of Scripture.
We are grateful for the many members of our community who influenced the formation of the Institutional Diversity Strategic Plan and the extraordinary leadership of Tamra Malone as our chief diversity officer. This collaborative process was truly an example of how the beautiful diversity of the body of Christ works together in unity toward a biblical vision. The result has become a comprehensive, nimble plan with rigorous goals owned by champions across the university. As you read an overview of the plan, we invite you to pray and consider how God might be inviting you to pursue God’s biblical mandate for unity amidst diversity. Finally, our prayer is that the implementation of this plan will help Biola University to become more reflective of “the kingdom mosaic of God’s people ‘from every tribe and language and people and nation’ (Rev. 7:9).”