Gender Equity Vision Statement

two students walking outside

Biblical Context

Scripture tells us that humanity was created by God, male and female and that human dignity derives from bearing God’s image. God’s first instructions to humanity were collaborative: to “fill the earth and govern it” (Gen 1:27-28). Not until God placed man and woman side by side did he promote his creation from good to “very good” (Gen 2:18). 

We are called to joint worship of God, service to each other, and stewardship of the earth. The fall of our first parents into sin disrupts our relationship with God and each other. God’s gift of salvation in Christ—the Son of God born of a woman (Gal 4:4) and the true image of God (2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15)—and the indwelling of the Spirit (Rom 8)— enable us to strive towards God’s design for men and women as equal image bearers, co-laborers, and joint heirs of eternal life. 

Jesus relied on the gifts and participation of women and men to support his ministry, spread the Gospel, and expand his Kingdom (Luke 8:1-3; Mark 16:6–8/Matt 28:1–8/Luke 24:1-12/John 20:17–18; Acts 2:16-21; Rom 16). Following his lead, Wheaton strives to foster equity and equal opportunities for Kingdom work for both women and men.

Institutional Context

We are a diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and administrators committed to liberal arts excellence in a Christ-centered context. While individually, we are members of the body of Christ (the Church) and thus brothers and sisters in the family of God, the College itself is neither a family nor a local church. The Wheaton College Gender Equity Vision Statement focuses on gender equity in a Christ-centered academic institution. 

This vision is not intended to prescribe theological positions on the role of the sexes in the life of the church or to assess the theological convictions of the members of our community in their personal, home, and church contexts. It is solely to guide our organizational relationships within our community as a college.

Lament and Rationale

Wheaton College recognizes and laments the ways we have fallen short of our commitment to an equitable and inclusive culture for women students and employees. We acknowledge that failing to live out these commitments, it reflects poorly on our Christian witness, has negative consequences for the well-being of both women and men, and for the quality, effectiveness, and productivity of our community. 

We recognize our ongoing need to work towards transforming sexist beliefs and behaviors. We thus dedicate ourselves to advancing and empowering women by examining and removing barriers—cultural, organizational, and financial—that deter or discourage women from excelling within all spheres of the College. We are committed to providing equal access to professional and leadership opportunities, mentoring, networking, resources, recognition, compensation, and promotion.

To ensure that these commitments are consistently sustained in policy and practice, we are committed as well to intentionally affirming the contributions and influence of women as well as men and conducting regular assessments and evaluations of gender equity, leading to continuous improvement.

Aspirational and Practical Commitments

In the classroom and workplace, we hold gender equality as a core value. We are committed to respecting, affirming, and encouraging the God-given talents, ambitions, achievements, and callings of both women and men as we serve together. 

All members of the Wheaton community are called to respect and work cooperatively under the leadership or authority of anyone called to lead a task or fulfill a role, regardless of gender. We recognize the legitimacy and desirability of both women and men teaching, leading, and making decisions throughout our campus community.

Promoting a flourishing community where both genders can thrive entails enhancing professional interactions between women and men on campus, including both women and men in decision-making, enforcing discrimination/harassment policies, engaging in bias training, and increasing awareness of various ways sexism may be experienced based on race, ethnicity, and family status. We are committed to practicing full inclusion of women and men in all areas of College life, collaborating as partners and co-image bearers to carry out Wheaton’s mission on our campus and in the world. 

Educating whole persons to build the Church and benefit society worldwide requires faculty, staff, and students to seek and model gender equity and equality on campus. An immediate, sustainable, and long-term commitment to support the full inclusion of women in the life and leadership of the College is one vital way for us to reflect Christ and His Kingdom.


February 15, 2021