Racial Reconciliation

A Biblical-Theological Foundation of Racial Reconciliation
Trinity International University exists “to educate men and women to engage in God’s redemptive work in the world.” At the center of God’s redemptive work in a broken and divided world is the reconciliation of all things back to himself through Christ. The intersection between God’s ministry of reconciliation and TIU’s own values of community focus and cultural engagement, and its mission, compels us to consider intentionally how TIU might become a learning community that embodies gospel-centered reconciliation, which in turn, can effectively form and educate students who think biblically and act Christianly as agents of the ongoing work of reconciliation, especially in our world of racial conflict and tension.

Summary of Trinity's Institutional Commitments

In light of the supremacy and authority of Scripture and the theological foundations and principles that flow from it, and in view of TIU’s community focus and cultural engagement values, and TIU’s mission statement, TIU, as a Christian learning community, makes the following three institutional commitments to live as a reconciled community informed by the following givens under the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The following commitments are intended to be consistent with Scripture and interpreted in accordance therewith, providing guidance for TIU as a learning community. The following commitments focus on relationships and racial reconciliation, recognizing that our human tendency to discriminate against those unlike us (whether with respect to race or in other areas) is a universal product of the sin nature.

Given the relational nature of our loving and just Triune God, who is a unity-in-diversity, given our dignity and value as creatures made in the image of our God, given the alienating brokenness of the world, and given the reconciling work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the peacemaking task to which we are called:

  1. TIU commits to the biblical practices consistent with peacemaking and racial reconciliation: God calls his people to love their neighbors, to be agents of reconciliation in today’s world of racial conflict and violence. Many TIU students come from racially homogenous communities and congregations, with limited opportunities to interact with Christians from other ethnic and racial backgrounds. TIU, as a racially diverse Christian learning community, thus has a unique opportunity to express the Kingdom experience of reconciliation for its students, staff, and faculty.As a university, therefore, we commit to the task of (a) continually developing and teaching a robust biblical theology of racial reconciliation, (b) intentionally creating spaces in and out of classrooms where members can develop deeply meaningful and transformative relationships across racial and ethnic boundaries, (c) regularly modeling the Christian practice of hospitality, repentance, and forgiveness, and (d) producing Christian leaders who are able to collaborate effectively with others in the ministry of reconciliation in today’s divisive world (2 Cor 5:19).
  2. TIU commits to the biblical practice of justice: A biblical understanding of reconciliation includes justice. This is especially critical to racial reconciliation since racism and racial inequality continue to undermine the goal of racial healing and unity. TIU, as a Christian university, strives to grow in its journey of racial reconciliation and justice by practicing the biblical value of mutuality. That is to say, TIU seeks to foster true equality among all its members who come from different ethnic, gender, and racial backgrounds, such that image-bearers relate to other image-bearers with genuine honor, fairness, and respect. Rather than engage in the politics of identity that seeks to advance the interest of one’s own people group, as a Christian community, we aim to serve the interests of “others” as Christ modeled for us (Phil 2:1-5). As a Christian university, TIU commits to empower all members of its community to fully exercise their gifts, working towards eliminating forms of racial prejudice and systemic racism that can undermine this goal of peacemaking or shalom bringing.
  3. TIU commits to the practice of affirming Christ-centered unity-in-diversity: As our church and society become more diverse and globalized, TIU commits to provide education through which our students will learn how to lead and serve in rich intercultural and international contexts. TIU strives to become a Christ-centered learning community that is racially and ethnically diverse and hospitable, providing opportunities for students to learn from and with those who come from different backgrounds, providing potentially transformational experiences that assist students to become more effective Kingdom citizens and leaders. In doing so, TIU will avoid any approach that minimizes the richness of diversity by denying the God-affirmed recognition of diverse peoples (Rev 7:9), and “assimilationist” approaches that unnecessarily favor a dominant group’s cultural values and practices, or fail to appropriately affirm and incorporate the cultural values and practices. of others, to the extent consistent with Scripture.

The rationale for this policy may be found in “A Biblical Theological Foundation of Racial Reconciliation.”