Gordon-Conwell Awarded Grant for Continued Work on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In Trust Center for Theological Schools, an organization committed to strengthening theological schools by connecting school leaders to essential resources for mission vitality, has awarded Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary a $15,000 seed grant for an institutional assessment and training to supplement ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. The selection of the outside accessors and trainers will be made by Bishop Claude Alexander, Chair of Gordon-Conwell’s Board of Trustees, and Steven D. Greisdorf, Ed.D., Gordon-Conwell’s Director of Human Resources, in consultation with the President’s Cabinet.
Gordon-Conwell is grateful for the support of In Trust and looks forward to a thorough institutional assessment that builds on the work of the ad hoc Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Established by Dr. Sunquist at the beginning of his presidency in 2019, the task force was comprised of students, faculty, and staff from across Gordon-Conwell’s four campuses. It evaluated how the seminary could best pursue its commitment to racial reconciliation and justice. Speaking of this commitment, Dr. Sunquist says, “Gordon-Conwell’s loving and Christ-centered community will develop as we listen to each other, developing empathy, and as (together) we study, lament, pray, and act over a biblical vision.”
An institutional assessment and subsequent training were among the task forces’ recommendations to the president and Deans’ Council. During the pandemic, the President’s Cabinet was able to begin its own assessment guided by readings of Jemar Tisby’s The Color of Compromise and Esau McCaulley’s Reading While Black; consultations with Black scholars Anthony B. Bradley and Vincent Bacote on the issues of race and justice; and individual meetings with Senior Professor of Ministry Rodney Cooper.
With faculty, staff, and students now returning to campus, these funds from In Trust will support an institutional assessment to begin on the Hamilton campus, the seminary’s residential campus, this fall. Learnings from the assessment will lead to training delivered to the community in the winter and spring of 2022. Assessments and training will follow on Gordon-Conwell’s other campuses and in digital/online communities of learning.
To learn more about these initiatives, visit our page on Diversity, Hospitality, and Culture.