Simpson University values the uniqueness and worth of individuals and strives to mirror the diversity of the Church and God’s creation. Our commitment is to be a community that is welcoming and affirming of those who attend and work here. We have a unique opportunity, as well as responsibility, to model biblical unity and Christ-like attitudes towards individual and group differences. Diversity creates an opportunity for growth. People from varying cultures contribute to the value and worth of this institution.
We are committed to building a unique community in far Northern California composed of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds who are committed to Jesus Christ, who aspire to grow in their faith, who serve others, and who carry out the Great Commission. We are dedicated to increasing opportunities for people of diverse cultures and backgrounds to attend Simpson University, to be employed here, and to participate in this Christ-centered learning community.
For these reasons:
- We will celebrate the richness of God’s creation by promoting diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status.
- We will endeavor to actively challenge systems of undue privilege and oppression.
- We will strive to make Simpson a place where people experience a sense of belonging and are recognized and appreciated for their contributions to the community
- We will be known as a community of grace in which trustees, faculty, staff, and students are committed to cooperation and to fostering personal growth.
- We will value people and practice kindness.
- We will seek to be an international community through recruitment and collaboration.
- We will model Christ in our relationships, inviting truth-telling and practicing honesty and trust.
- We will hear multiple perspectives on social issues, formulating a response based on the truth and authority of Scripture and the mission of the university.
The Bible embodies an overarching narrative that shows God’s love for and commitment to his creation, which he created to be diverse. Yet biblical authors have diagnosed our world as filled with morally flawed humans, whose relationships and institutions are equally flawed. We have only to reflect on our own experience, read history, or consult local and global news sources to confirm this assessment.
Our thoughts and actions are characterized by estrangement from God and from our fellow-humans; attempts to seek advantage and control at the expense of others; fear and distrust of what we perceive as different; and attempts to blame others to compensate for our own inadequacies (Gen 3:7-13; Gen 27-44; Ecc 4:1, 4; Isa 58-59; James 4:1-4). As a result, society is characterized by pervasive injustice and violence to those whom we perceive as different from us—typically, in gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, and socio-political affiliations.
The biblical authors argue that God will not abandon this flawed creation, but will radically transform and restore it through Christ. Furthermore, he has summoned us to partner with him and share his commitment to this restoration (Isa 11; 49:6; Matt 5:9; Luke 19:10; Acts 13:47; 2 Cor 5:18-20; Gal 3:28; Col 1:13-20; Rev 5:9-10).
Our response as followers of Christ should be both honest and hopeful. We desire:
- to properly recognize the nature of God, whose creative works are diverse, unique, and to be celebrated (Gen 1-2; Ps 104; 147, 148); who created humans, male and female, in his image (Gen 1:27); who initiates and maintains relationships (Neh 1:5; Gen 17:7; Ezek 16:60; Rev 21:3); who acts counter to human expectations and social norms (1 Cor 1:18-29); who is a God of compassion and liberation (Exod 20:2; Ps 10:17-18; 86:15; Jonah 4:2, 10-11); who is committed to restoring creation by forgiving transgression, overcoming violence, healing sickness, releasing captives, creating peace, and transforming a broken world (Deut 10:18-19; Isa 25:6-9; 61:1-2; Rev 21-22); and who has acted in Christ to minister to the broken, hurting, and socially marginalized (Matt 9:10-13, 36; Luke 4:16-21);
- to recognize and repent from our perpetration of and complicity in personal and institutional injustice (Prov 24:23-25; James 1:27; 2:1-9; 5:1-6; 1 John 3:10-11);
- to identify, resist, and overcome fear of, withdrawal from, and violence to others by honoring and reaching out to them (Prov 14:21, 31; 31:8-9; Zech 7:9-10; 1 Cor 11:18-22, 29; Gal 6:2; Eph 4:31-32; James 3:18; 1 Pet 3:8);
- to be aware of our propensity to ignore or misread Scripture—realizing that self-proclaimed Christ-followers have used the Scriptures to support unjust behavior many times in the past, and have ignored scriptures that challenge injustice. We can resist such misreadings by reading self-critically and in community, and especially by reading Scripture with those different from us;
- to put aside self-interest and love others as ourselves—and love as Christ loved us (Rom 13:8-10; Phil 2:1-7; 1 John 3:16-18);
- to recognize the nature of the body of Christ: that our diversity is a gift of God, that we are one in Christ, and that our status in Christ is not determined by or affected by our differences (1 Cor 12:12-27).