About Harding

Diversity

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY

Harding University is committed to being a diverse community of mission that demonstrates a Christ-like understanding and respect for all people, and that models and practices the reconciliation made possible by the gospel of Christ.       

MISSION AND DIVERSITY

Harding University integrates “faith, learning and living” in everything we do. This statement acknowledges the Christian worldview is at the core of our identity and values. We believe diversity of background and respect for those differences makes Harding better within the context of the University’s code of conduct and respectful discourse and living.

Our understanding of diversity is rooted in Scripture. The foundation of our Christian worldview is our belief in the Bible as the fully inspired and authoritative word of God. We hold it to be “God-breathed” and the basis of our teaching and living (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible is central to our goal of spiritual transformation in the life of everyone at Harding.

Harding seeks to be a diverse community, and when we consider how human beings are portrayed in God’s word, we discover two conditions that demonstrate our sameness in the eyes of the Lord.

All people are created in the image of God; therefore, we are all of equal value to him.

Scripture teaches the unity of the human race by virtue of our common creation: “From one man God made every nation of the human race, that they should inhabit the whole earth” (Acts 17:26). God’s word also teaches the unity of the human race by virtue of the fact we are all created “in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27).

It is within this greater context of unity that humanity’s diversity rightly appears: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). All mankind, both male and female, are created by God and bear his image; therefore, we strive to adhere only to ideology and practice that respect the unique dignity and worth of every human being (Genesis 9:6). We strive to recognize and respect individual differences in a way that promotes the greater unity of the body of Christ and with all members of our communities (1 Corinthians 12:11-27).

All people are imperfect and sinful creatures, and all are in need of God’s grace and redemption.

While Scripture teaches all people are created in the image of God, it reveals that, throughout its existence, humanity has lived in a state of self-willed rebellion, and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

For this reason, we believe only individual behaviors that support biblical standards are pleasing to God, and therefore those standards apply equally to all who are part of the University.

We therefore believe when we acknowledge God’s redemptive love for every person (1 Timothy 2:3-4; 1 Peter 3:9) we will treat other human beings with grace and kindness knowing we are all those “for whom Christ died” (1 Corinthians 8:11; 1 John 4:19-21).

In Acts 10 we read how God taught Simon Peter to transcend cultural and racial prejudices in order to “realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation those who fear him and do what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all” (verses 34-36). Jesus commanded his disciples to share the good news of God’s redeeming love with “all creation” (Mark 16:15-16) and to make disciples of “all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20). Paul emphasizes the gospel is “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” regardless of their cultural or ethnic background (Romans 1:16).

CONCLUSION

In the last book of the Bible, we are given a glimpse of the ultimate redemption of diverse humanity as “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9). We are called to minister to all people and, as part of this calling, it is Harding’s mission to provide a quality education that will lead to an understanding and philosophy of life consistent with Christian ideals.

To learn more, contact our Office of Diversity Services.