Administrative Vision for Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Wheaton College


Wheaton's ongoing commitment to diversity extends to the College's administrative decisions, informing student admissions as well as faculty and staff hiring.

As part of the College's commitment to extending the value of racial and ethnic diversity into all aspects of our community, the College's Diversity Council has created a document called "Administrative Vision for Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Wheaton College." The Diversity Council, active since 1996, is a group of selected staff, faculty, and administrators who make recommendations to increase diversity and conduct open conversations with the President about racial issues. 

This document outlines resolutions related to programming and recruitment as ratified by the faculty. It also addresses administrative aspirations in matters of racial and ethnic diversity pertaining to student admission, selection for scholarships and awards, and employee decisions on hiring, promotion and retention. 

Administrative Vision

Wheaton College exists "to build the church and benefit society worldwide." We desire to do more than simply develop the cognitive skills of our students. We seek also to develop whole and effective Christians whose character reflects the values of the kingdom of God. A biblical understanding of academic subjects, and of the Christian life as expressed in our Community Covenant, directs us in educating the whole person. Awareness of the needs of church and society worldwide should promote the continual reformation of our educational programs.

Wheaton College is identified with the evangelical movement rooted in the Protestant tradition. The evangelical church has witnessed explosive growth in Latin America, Africa, and in many parts of Asia; thus the church we seek to support and advance is increasingly multicultural and urban. Yet the evangelical tradition has tenuous connections with theologically compatible churches of non-European origins in America. This calls us to address the ongoing threats and challenges of racial and ethnic divisions.

If we are indeed to "educate the whole person to build the church and benefit society worldwide," a.s a community we must model for our students how to seek unity and love, encourage the well-being of persons both individually and relationally, and promote justice and reconciliation between all members of God's family. Our commitment to function as a redeemed community under the Lordship of Jesus Christ is the thrust of our Community Covenant.

God values unity among all of humanity and love across all racial and ethnic divisions, whether expressed in the creational vision of a unified human family (Genesis 1-3; Ephesians 3: 15), our Lord's prayer for unity among his disciples Gohn 17), the Apostle Paul's bold proclamation that a primary intention of the Gospel is uniting all people with God and hence with each other (Ephesians 2:11 - 19), or the Apostle John's apocalyptic vision of "a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in
front of the Lamb" and singing their praises to God (Revelation 7:9). Contributing to such unity is a direct imperative of our mission to serve Christ and His Kingdom.

Our goal is to prepare our students to understand and negotiate the global realities of a racially and ethnically diverse church, as well as to heal the division and strife in relations between peoples of different races and cultures. Developing the intercultural competencies of our students requires that we become a racially and ethnically diverse educational community. We aim for a Christ-centered community where the development of whole and effective Christians is facilitated by the very structure and functioning of the community. As a liberal arts college with a theological vision articulated in our Statement of Faith, and a commitment to excellence in liberal arts and graduate programs, we seek to be a Christian community of diverse racial and ethnic perspectives.

We apply our vision to matters of racial and ethnic diversity by creating effective programs to address these issues and by recruiting students and employees (faculty and staff) who share these guiding commitments. To that end, we support the four-fold resolution of the Wheaton College faculty (Spring 2001) to:

  1. more folly value the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of God's children among our students, faculty, administration and staff;
  2. actively recruit Christians of racial and ethnic backgrounds underrepresented on the Wheaton campus;
  3. equip our students to more effectively engage and serve an increasingly diversified nation and world by creating inclusive curricula that address the plurality of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and culture in shaping human knowledge and community; and
  4. make the college into a more welcoming community of faith for those who are now underrepresented.

The following represents our administrative aspirations in 1natters of racial and ethnic diversity. These guidelines pertain to student admission or selection for scholarship and other aid awards as well as employee decisions on hiring, promotion and retention:

  • We will continue to support the enhancement of our educational and employment practices to increase our effectiveness in developing intercultural competencies in our students to embrace the racial and ethnic diversity of church and society. Constant program and policy review is mandated in light of the values articulated here.
  • Through the Office of Global Programs and Studies we will seek to explore and extend global study opportunities. We will continue to press for a student body reflective of the church worldwide, to think creatively about global emphases in our undergraduate and graduate educational programs, and to establish meaningful international partnerships.
  • Decisions about student admission, scholarship and other aid awards, and employee hiring, promotion and retention will give due consideration to racial and ethnic diversity in our community, as this will assist us in the discharge of our institutional mission in preparing our students to serve a diverse world community. Such decisions will not be made
    exclusively or primarily on the basis of candidate race or ethnicity.
  • We will substantially enhance our efforts to widen the representation of evangelical Christians from a variety of racial and ethnic communities in our student and employee candidate pools by advertising and promoting our identity and work in ever-wider circles of the Christian community.


All human beings belong to the same biological species and subspecies. The idea of human "races" represents an inaccurate understanding of human biological variation and incorrectly links cultural differences with supposed biological ones. Though race is a human construct with meaning that has changed over time, beliefs in the existence of human "races" have real and powerful social consequences. We use the tenn racial in this document as a reference to these beliefs in order to address the damage they have inflicted upon human societies.