Corban University’s Distinctive Identity as a Christian Liberal Arts University
In a nation with more than 5,000 colleges and universities — at least 1,700 of those private institutions — Corban University belongs to a unique subset of schools whose charter, history, teaching positions, character, and motivations spring from a distinctively Christian worldview. We recognize that “Christian worldview” is, in itself, a term subject to varying definitions, so we intend this summary to help prospective students, their parents, and those applying for faculty and staff positions to understand the core of who we are.
Our Historic Foundation
From our start in 1935 as Phoenix Bible Institute (AZ), through subsequent name changes, relocations to two California campuses, and an eventual move to Salem, Oregon, our identity has consistently expressed a biblically-focused mission: “to educate Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.” Throughout Corban’s history, there have been various church relationships, including the General Association of Regular Baptists. While we are now an independent Christian university, our Baptist roots run deep and inform our perspective on interpreting and applying Scripture. We are a Protestant and traditionally evangelical university, emphasizing the primacy of Scripture and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
What We Believe
As a faith-based institution, Corban’s founders and successive boards have prioritized a clear statement of faith that defines the beliefs we hold in common. The statement includes reference to God’s revelation of Himself through creation, the Scriptures, and in Jesus Christ; a commitment to inerrancy; the Trinity; the biblical account of creation; the entrance of sin into the world through Adam; and the central redemptive role of Jesus Christ as the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Corban University affirms that salvation is received by God’s grace through faith, apart from any works. The primacy of the church as the Body of Christ, the existence and role of angelic beings, the future and imminent premillennial return of Jesus Christ, and the eventual establishment of His eternal kingdom –– all are referenced in the Statement of Faith.
Corban’s Statement of Faith expresses our understanding that God specially and directly created human beings in His image. Human life is sacred, beginning at conception. God created humans as male and female and has ordained marriage as a union between one man and one woman. These points are further developed in statements which are found in our documents for different campus audiences. For students, additional info is found in the Community Life Walkthrough and for employees it is contained in the Employee Handbook, as well as in the resources for the application process.
In the myriad of social issues facing the Church and Christian institutions today, we aspire to evaluate each issue through the lens of Scripture and respond accordingly, rather than establishing policies that simply mirror culture and the ever-changing political milieu. An example is our Multicultural Inclusion Statement, which references, “…God’s beauty as expressed through cultural diversity. We aim to flourish as an eclectic Christian community, multiethnic, multicultural, and multinational in scope (Revelation 7:9-10), happy in the knowledge that all people are created in God’s image (Genesis 1: 26-28, 9:6) and that God’s redemptive purposes extend to all (Galatians 3:28; Romans 11: 17-24).”
Why This Matters
We strive for complete clarity with prospective students and their parents, and with applicants seeking employment at any level. Corban University isn’t right for everyone, but it is the perfect fit for many. Our long-held, clearly articulated, and readily available positions on faith and its expression should help prospective students and employees determine if Corban University is consistent with their own beliefs, values, and lifestyle.
Commitment to a Unified Community
All faculty, staff, and administration must agree without reservation to the Statement of Faith, wholeheartedly support the school’s mission, agree to abide by the Community Life Standards, and be actively engaged in their local church.
All students matriculated and enrolled in any on-campus or distance learning program must express a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is consistent with the school’s Statement of Faith, demonstrate a desire to grow as a Christian, respect our doctrinal positions, and agree to abide by the community standards found in the Community Life Walkthrough.
Respecting Those Who Hold Different Views
Many of the positions contained in this summary have been vigorously debated by earnest followers of Jesus Christ throughout the history of the Church, and perhaps even more so in our current generation. This document is intended to clearly express our long-held positions in order to eliminate misunderstanding among those who would consider joining our campus community. Our stated positions express Corban University’s understanding of Scripture and biblical doctrine, even as we acknowledge the shared humanity and intrinsic worth of those who choose other interpretations.
Our Statement Against Discrimination
Because we believe that all persons are created in the image of God, we must treat everyone with dignity and respect, even as we exercise our legally guaranteed religious freedoms. Corban University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality, or ethnic origin in the administration of their educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other school-administered programs. Corban University admits students of any race, color, nationality, and ethnic origin to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.