ENCOURAGES FACULTY TO EMBRACE DIVERSITY
Dr. Julia Speller, professor
of public ministry at Chicago Theological Seminary, applauded Trinity's
efforts to achieve diversity and encouraged nearly 30 faculty and staff
member to remain committed to that goal during the first of the College's
diversity lecture series October 4.
Speller spoke on "Relevant
Pedagogy and the Dilemma of Diversity" at the faculty forum in the Fireside
Chapel and used Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf's metaphor of a physical
embrace to show how professors can promote and accept diversity as they
teach students of different cultures and backgrounds.
"Opening the arms creates
a welcoming environment for learning," Speller said. "Waiting is a condition
of mutual respect and implies patience and stillness, which are two important
aspects of listening. Closing the arms gives evidence of trust that deepens
the potential for dialogue. Opening the arms again encourages each person
to return to his or her individual cultural location.
"The final release is done
with the recognition that cultural and racial differences are not problems
to overcome or reconcile but gifts to be celebrated. There should not be
the naïve notion that all will agree with each other but a mutual
respect that appreciates cultural distinctions without needing to fully
Sponsored by the office of
ethnic diversity and the ethnic diversity committee, the lecture series
is the College's latest initiative to provide diversity awareness training.
Speller believes that Trinity is on the right track toward attaining the
level of diversity it seeks.
"As overwhelming as this
dilemma is, there are ways to face it and begin to turn the tide, particularly
in the context of higher education," she said. "This series of lectures
is a bold and positive step toward that goal. It suggests that one way
to address the moral responsibility of promoting diversity is by courageously
embracing it on multiple levels."
On November 1, Dr. Luis Carlo,
professor of urban studies at Alliance Theological Seminary, will be the
second speaker of the diversity lecture series.