Kingdom-Diversity @ Fresno Pacific University

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Abstract

Fresno Pacific University is a regional, multicultural university with a kingdom vision of diversity, global evangelism, service and family discipleship. We are located in the Central Valley, where our population is currently nestled at around half a million people, and rising. We are faced with economic troubles, social and civic obstacles, and a populace that is heavily depended upon government assistance. Our university vision consists of serving those around us for the kingdom of God. Our crown jewel of expertise is that we are known for equipping the Church for the kingdom’s services.

Because of our great diversity, we have all of the issues that come along with urban, and civic development. Numerous languages are spoken here, numerous faiths are practiced here and the neo-pagan culture is alive and well in California.

Fresno Pacific University has a vision to engage the cultures and serve the cities of the Central Valley. This message of our university is broadcasted across this valley. A university plan of kingdom diversity in honor of this vision and commitment to kingdom ministry could assist the FPU community in making disciples of all nations. (Mt. 28:19)

Our Proposal for Mission and Remembrance

In honor of the kingdom ministry of diversity, spiritual formation, pastoral care, biblical shalom and student service and community development, the following proposal is being made in pursuit of following Jesus.

Fresno Pacific University will serve as a place of multicultural ministry, Kingdom-Diversity, evangelism, service and discipleship that equips students, faculty and staff through biblical instruction, life formation, spiritual formation and the eternal benefits of compassion ministries. Through collaborative engagement and university-wide curricular activities and curricular development, the ministry of kingdom-diversity will provide key leadership in recruiting and deploying students to proclaim the Gospel in our world. The university deans, administrative cabinet, university departments, faculty and staff are all appointed to serve in the development and implementation of the kingdom-diversity rationale. The programmatic catalyst for engagement and coordination will be comprised of the Office of Spiritual Formation and Diversity, under the leadership of the University Pastor and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Angulus Wilson, PhD.

Our Biblical Authority

The following scriptural authority is taken from our university diversity rationale. We are confident in the word of God and believe in its authority for the life of the believer and our work as a body of believers. Therefore, we hold to its teachings and authoritative command to serve others who are made in the image of God.

“In Genesis 1 and 2 we see that God is the creator of all humankind. People of all ethnicities and cultures share a common humanity through the image of God. God’s covenant with Noah was made for all peoples (Gen. 9:l-17). When God calls Abraham to create from him a special people, it is for the blessing of all nations (Gen. 12: l-3). Throughout the Old Testament God calls his people to extend hospitality to strangers and to care for the needy and marginalized (e.g. Dt. 27:17-19). In the person and ministry of Jesus, God’s love and concern for all people become even more explicit. Throughout his ministry in the synoptic Gospels, Jesus crossed boundaries that divided people in his world. These include barriers of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, sex, religion and politics. He cared for and identified with sinners, social outcasts and the marginalized of that society (Mark 2:15-12). He interacted in love with women of different ethnicities (Mark 7:24-30) and women considered unclean and sinful (Mark 14:3-9). Jesus challenged the established tradition where it upheld law against human need. In the Gospel of John, we again see Jesus modeling this radical acceptance of people from all communities in the ancient world. Jesus proclaimed God’s love and salvation to the whole world (John 1:29; 3:16). In his interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus chose not only to associate with her, but also to send her as his messenger to her people (John 4:3-42). In his final directions to his disciples and his wonderful prayer in John 14–17, Jesus begs for unity and love among his followers. It is through our unity that the world will know that God sent him and loves the world.” (FPU Diversity Rationale 2015)

Kingdom – Diversity Mission Statement

Fresno Pacific University and the kingdom–diversity ministry is committed to equipping the body of Christ for works of ministry. It serves all students, staff and faculty through biblical shalom, common learning, reading and service initiatives.

What can students expect to learn about Kingdom-Diversity?

  1. Students will develop cultural competencies in Kingdom-Diversity and understand their biblical value as human beings made in the image of God.
  2. FPU Students, Staff and Faculty will participate in learning communities and develop a shared vision for Kingdom-Diversity and Service through practices of Shalom.
  3. Students will discover the biblical mandate for service through Kingdom-Diversity and develop a model for common service in higher education.
  4. FPU Students, Staff and Faculty will participate in caring for one another, and developing common learning communities for strategic service and implementation of kingdom-diversity in all aspects of the community.

Teaching for Transformation and The FPU Idea

The following convictions in our approach and ethos as a community come from our guiding vision of the FPU idea. “As a Christian university we are Anabaptist, evangelical and ecumenical. In our Anabaptist commitment we affirm the importance of service, the priority of the Kingdom of God over other structures and values, the sacramental quality of the gathered Christian community and the lordship of Christ over all of life. To be Anabaptist means to be diverse and inclusive, but with convictions that build upon a particular tradition.”

“We are also a member of a particular Anabaptist branch – the Mennonite Brethren – which brings evangelical aspects to our identity. In this we value the authority of the Bible, the new birth, service and mission, and personal spiritual development. In addition, and along with many contemporary evangelicals, the Idea states that we value the “practice of reconciliation and love in settings of violence, oppression and injustice.” Both our Anabaptist and evangelical heritage call us to reach out to people of the diverse communities around us. As an ecumenical university, FPU seeks to be centered upon Christ and His church. It also calls each party to ecumenical conversations and relationships that both contributes to and receives from other branches of the Christian family who build on their own traditions and convictions.”

“These three aspects of our Christian identity mean that we hold to a holistic and integrative understanding of our faith. The Idea states, ‘All authentic knowledge and experience are unified under God.’ Implicit in this inclusive notion is a rejection of any mono-cultural or ethnocentric approach to curriculum, programs or pedagogy. It also means that the university is committed to an ethic of service that unites theory with practice. Service implies that we as a Christian higher education community reach out to various racial/ethnic communities such as Hispanics, African Americans, and Southeast Asians, through intentional diversity initiatives in student recruitment, retention, and matriculation, who represent a major part of our region as well as staff, faculty, and administrative recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion. Within our region, many students from diverse backgrounds come from families and communities in which they are the first to attend college. Hence, this suggests that FPU must become more of a safe place for diverse students to thrive. We must also be mindful of the ways in which various students’ communities and values differ from the white cultural values and experiences that are so prominent within higher education. As an institutional and communal expression of the kingdom of God, we are invited and challenged to reach across the boundaries of race, socioeconomics, ethnicity, sex, religious faith, personal sexual and marital differences, physical abilities and all other boundaries that divide people from each other.”

University Diversity Committee

The UDC are the ambassadors and keepers of the Kingdom Diversity vision. As institutional guides they help to direct, serve and develop institutional strategies for kingdom diversity initiatives. The following duties are those which make up the ministry UDC responsibilities at Fresno Pacific University.

 

  • The UDC members are prayer intercessors for FPU.
  • The UDC members are ambassadors for Kingdom–Ministry initiatives within their schools and departments.
  • The UDC members are ambassadors for common reading, learning and service communities.
  • The UDC members will assist staff and faculty with the development and implementation of Kingdom-Ministry and Service goals and objectives for their departments.
  • The UDC members report to the University Pastor and Chief Diversity Officer.
  • The UDC members participate in scheduled meetings to give direction to Kingdom-Diversity related initiatives, programs and projects for FPU.

               Kingdom Diversity and Service Center

 

Students, staff and faculty desiring to transform their courses, programs, lives, skills, and their understanding of Kingdom–Diversity and Service will be invited to work with experts who are culturally competent and leaders in their disciplines. Opportunities to explore multicultural curriculum service development, evangelism, discipleship, urban missions, spiritual formation and cross-cultural engagements will enjoy learning in the Office of Spiritual Formation and Diversity, Service Center. The Center will host workshops and retreats covering a wide range of topics to be scheduled at suitable times to provide offices, departments, and schools with on-going resources and skills to meet ministry challenges and demands of the community and the local Church. In addition, a multi-cultural conference will be held yearly on the beautiful campus of Fresno Pacific University, and will be conducted, where renowned speakers and workshop leaders will deepen attendee’s desires for God and His Word. The community will be challenged to address contemporary issues in higher education, Christianity and in the life of the church. Some of these issues are as follows:

  • Student, staff and faculty ministry formation
  • Evangelism and discipleship training
  • Cross-cultural ministry development
  • Shalom in Diversity and the kingdom initiative
  • Shalom and Global mission awareness
  • Spiritual formation for the soul

Retreat Center at Casa Pacifica

The Retreat Center at Casa Pacifica in Shaver Lake is a location of spiritual formation designed for mission-minded servants who are seeking for renewal and rest on their journey with Jesus Christ. Training for University leaders will be done in according to their schedules in our beautiful retreat center.

Casa Pacifica is a small retreat facility developed for the use of Fresno Pacific University faculty, students, staff and friends. This place of retreat, renewal and rest serves as a reminder that we need continuous formation as we walk with God. A contrite heart and merciful spirit embodies the pastoral qualities that we seek to nurture through the programs conducted at Casa Pacifica. This place of renewal serves as a reminder that God is with us and will give us rest when we are weary.

Casa Pacifica consists of a three-story “cabin” located on a five-acre parcel near Shaver Lake northeast of Fresno in the Sierras (ca 5,000 feet elevation.) The lower floor includes a recreation room plus two bedrooms with double beds and a bath, as well as a sitting room with a queen-sized sofa bed. The middle floor consists of a living-dining meeting room, kitchen, bedroom with queen-sized bed, and bath. The upper floor includes two bedrooms, each with 8 bunk sleeping spaces, an additional sleeping loft in each bedroom, bath in each bedroom, and a sitting room between the bedrooms.

 

Kingdom – Diversity and The Ministry of Shalom

“Spiritual Life” is not a separate category at Fresno Pacific University—it is intricately woven through majors, classes, cohort life, dorms, athletics, Bible studies, music groups, clubs, intramurals, drama, friendships, ministries…and the list goes on. Ultimately, it is part of each person’s life here—administration, faculty, staff and students.

There are a variety of ways we help students explore how God wants to work in and through them through kingdom ministry opportunities available on campus, locally and around the world. Our culturally competent faculty and staff will be available to assist staff, faculty and students as they seek to provide spiritual leadership, service learning and programming to the whole university.

The Center is a ministry of discipleship that equips leaders, through biblical instruction, life formation, spiritual formation and learning how to apply the Shalom of God into every aspect of their lives. Through hands-on training the Center provides key leadership in recruiting and deploying servant leaders for service into the church and in our world.

Who We Are?

We are a team of committed, thoughtful teachers who work together in the Lords harvest. We are servants who are called to the great commission in the world.

Ministry Focus

The Kingdom diversity Center is focused on three key areas:

  • Encouraging servant-leaders of the cross, through biblical shalom who have gotten discouraged.
  • Equipping the Church for mission, service and evangelism in the world.
  • Evangelizing the lost through collaborative evangelistic events conducted by the servant leaders.

Ministry Purpose

  • To stimulate Kingdom-Diversity the Center serves as a resource for Churches and other ministries nationwide.
  • We are here to cultivate biblical shalom and ministry opportunities for collaborative service and evangelistic missions in the world.

 

What is the Center?

  • The Center provides key leadership in teaching and training students for their desired mission and vocation in the world.
  • The Center is a place to stimulate faith and service through learning in a cross-cultural environment.
  • The Center serves as a resource and networking location for students working to advance the kingdom of God on earth.

 Kingdom – Diversity Training Through the Center

The Center will do the following things to help the FPU community to become a community of Kingdom–Diversity learners and leaders. Through departmental training and workshops, students, staff, administrators and faculty will be encouraged to develop new mental models of servant leadership and curriculum ideas of faith integration. The Center team will help to facilitate discussions and at the conclusion of the Center’s training, the FPU community will be able to do the following:

  • The FPU community will be able to coordinate Kingdom-Diversity events with the Center.
  • The FPU community will be invited to engage in common learning, common reading, and common service to gather, grow and go in the name of Christ.
  • The FPU community will be able to engage the cultures and serve the cities through Kingdom-Diversity training for shalom within their own offices, schools and programs.
  • The FPU community will be able to develop in-house training related materials for formation and best practices for diversity as spiritual formation at FPU.

 

Kingdom–Diversity goals and objectives for University wide assessment

 

To critically examine our very own activities, programs, courses and events, the following four learning objectives will help us to access how we have handled Kingdom–Diversity and where we may need to redevelop new mandates or re-train for university success. These areas for critique are as follows:

 

  • Spiritual Development:  The university will demonstrate an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and Kingdom–Diversity through reflection, worship, and service to others.
  • Personal Development:  The university will develop a Christ-centered understanding of shalom with God, ethnic, gender, and socio-economic diversity through intentional individual relationships, and self-discovery as kingdom servant leaders.
  • Teaching Development:  The university will engage in teaching in diverse communities through participation in educational programs and through the establishing of workshops, conferences, seminars and small group studies.
  • Mission Development:  The university will apply a biblical framework for God’s mission in the world through service programs, projects and various ministry opportunities locally and globally.

 

OFFICE OF SPIRITUAL FORMATION and DIVERSITY

Ministry Programs, Services and Events

 

Programs Offered:

  1. College hour
  2. Chirp
  3. Worship at the Cross
  4. Bible Studies
  5. Casa Retreats
  6. Student Ministries
  7. Women’s ministry Initiatives
  8. Multicultural Scholarships
  9. Samaritan Scholars Program
  10. Summer mission trips

Services Offered:

  1. Spiritual counseling
  2. Marriage counseling
  3. Student retention
  4. Speakers bureau
  5. Language Interpretation
  6. Prayer formation
  7. Center development
  8. Church consultation
  9. Student leadership development
  10. Spiritual formation retreats
  11. Student advising
  12. Student employment

Events:

  1. Student congress on racial reconciliation
  2. Multicultural baccalaureate
  3. New Beginnings Church Services
  4. Multicultural Conferences
  5. City Summit
  6. Student, Staff and Faculty Retreats