Echo Spring 2021 - 38

A note from LBC | Capital
President Dr. Thomas L. Kiedis:
I am grateful to the family of
Lancaster Bible College | Capital
Seminary & Graduate School and
to Cultured Enuf for the efforts
both have put forth to make
significant strides when it comes
to diversity and belonging
at LBC | Capital. As we have
emphasized since June 2020,
we are committed to continuous
learning as an institution for
biblical higher education in
ways that honor God and build
his multi-ethnic community.
Knowing that our identity comes
from what God has done for
us, not what we do for Him, we
should always be willing to take
a good, hard look at how we
are doing to honor God in every
facet of our lives, acknowledging
shortfalls and taking steps to
improve. We do this because we
want to grow up in every way
God has planned for us.
Please know that this journey
will be guided by three things:
1) it will be guided by the gospel;
2) it will be guided by our
mission; and 3) it will be guided
by God's grace. We're confident
that what we're learning will help
us more effectively accomplish
the mission God has given us at
Lancaster Bible College and in
which we have been engaged
since 1933. And this journey will
help us accomplish our mission
better in the days ahead, never
deviating from God's Word,
always looking to see how we
can cooperate more effectively
as a diverse people of God in
that mission.
By Jael Chambers, Founder of the diversity consultant firm Cultured Enuf
& Ashley Jackson, Associate Consultant at Cultured Enuf
e at Cultured Enuf appreciate the opportunity
to work with Lancaster Bible College | Capital
Seminary & Graduate School. As follower of
Christ, Founder of Cultured Enuf, former
staff member and current faculty member of LBC,
representing Jesus and helping LBC achieve its mission
is paramount.
Everyone has blind spots. You may notice them when
you are driving or through the words of an honest
friend. In order for anyone to grow in areas they are
blind to, they need someone or something to point
them out in the first place. Lancaster Bible College |
Capital Seminary & Graduate School has taken the
initiative of growing in the areas of diversity and
belonging to better live out the gospel (Galatians 2:14)
and reflect the biblical vision of God's diverse kingdom
(Revelation 7:9-10). To that end, they have partnered
with our organization to complete what we call a
Diversity Audit.
What exactly is a Diversity Audit? A Diversity Audit
shows the current state of how an organization
or institution is doing in the areas of diversity and
belonging while also providing areas for growth. Similar
to how a doctor examines patients to check their
health, a Diversity Audit shows the areas where an
organization is doing well and areas that need to be
addressed. This is done by collecting different forms
of data from those closely connected to and affected
by the organization. After compiling this information,
the Diversity Audit " prescribes " recommendations
for the organization based on the data. LBC | Capital
has undergone the process of being examined, and
data has been collected through the help of students,
faculty, staff, alumni and others connected to
the institution.
What is LBC | Capital doing well? Our
audit showed that LBC | Capital is
doing several things well. First, the
college's student population exhibits
levels of diversity including ethnicity/
race, life experience and age.
Secondly, diverse, critical leadership
roles are already in place, and the
college has made an intentional effort
to diversify leadership positions at
the three locations. Third, the sense
of belonging at LBC | Capital is high;
91% of current students feel like
they belong, and 89%
of alumni felt like
they belonged
at the college.
Jael Chambers
What were the main takeaways from the Diversity
Audit? For LBC | Capital, five main takeaways were
included in the audit:
1. Improve Institutional Infrastructure: There are a lack
of policies and systems in place to develop and sustain
the efforts toward diversity and belonging.
2. Align the Three Locations: At Lancaster, Philadelphia
and Washington, D.C., there is a lack of congruence
between how diversity is reflected (e.g. the culture,
music, images portrayed, etc.).
3. Build a Culture of Psychological Safety: The feeling
of psychological safety for women and people of color
is not optimum. At times, addressing concerns they
have is difficult. We want to consider what we can we
do to help better facilitate Paul's words, " speaking the
truth in love " (Ephesians 4:15).
4. Establish a Diversity and Belonging Framework:
One step we are taking is examining " diversity and
belonging " from Scripture. Visit the LBC website to see
the beginnings of this work. Many groups do not define
their terms. Few evaluate this topic biblically. LBC is
developing a biblical approach to this important work.
5. Continue Student-Focused Care: There is already an
established feeling of belonging among students and
alumni, which is great!
Where do we go from here? Now that LBC | Capital
has gone through the Diversity Audit process,
what happens next? The Diversity Audit contains
recommendations for LBC | Capital to take into the
next few years of this journey.
One recommendation is the importance of being
transparent with the information LBC | Capital receives
from Cultured Enuf and steps that will be taken moving
forward. This act of transparency demonstrates Godhonoring
change and accountability.
God-honoring growth will mean continuing to work
toward ways we can help all students-local and
international-of all ethnicities to feel very welcome
and very much at home as a part of Lancaster Bible
College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School. As Dr.
Kiedis has said, we want biblical diversity and belonging
to be the unspectacular norm at LBC (John 17:20-21,
Galatians 3:28).
LBC | Capital continues to take important steps as a
diverse and welcoming institution of higher learning.
The recommendations from the Diversity Audit will not
be actions to be done today with results being seen
tomorrow. These steps will take time to implement.
Some mistakes will also be made in the process.
Patience will be important as these changes are made
and as accountability continues to be a priority.
(For more information on LBC | Capital's commitment to
Diversity & Belonging, including a report on the Diversity
Audit from Cultured Enuf, visit

Echo Spring 2021

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