At Corban University, we value multicultural diversity—so much so, that the following Theology of Multicultural Inclusion statement was drafted and approved by our faculty, and endorsed by the Cabinet and Board of Trustees. Based on principles and truths in God’s Word, the following statement outlines Corban’s vision for multicultural diversity. We believe a multicultural view of the Church is vastly superior and inherently biblical. From God’s promise to bless all nations through the seed of Abraham to the cross-cultural choir around God’s throne, His people always represent the vastness of our world united in the truth of the Gospel. For that reason, Corban seeks to reflect the multi-hued splendor of God’s people.
Theology of Multicultural Inclusion Statement
At Corban, we celebrate 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). In everything we do, locally and globally, we strive to meet each other with a humble disposition (Acts 10:28), mindful always that we are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). And, in everything we do, we hope to demonstrate love, informed by the biblical mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves (Numbers 15:14-16; Mark 12:31), knowing that we are—otherwise—clanging cymbals (1 Corinthians 13:1). Corban’s mission is to educate Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). To this end, and for God’s glory, we extend gratitude to all our brothers and sisters in Christ, and together—unified in purpose—we share the gospel with a broken world.
As with every initiative, it’s one thing to articulate it in words, and another to live it out in daily life. We hope you have the opportunity to explore the myriad of ways Corban seeks to live out its theology of multicultural inclusion each day, whether through the classroom, chapel programming, residence life, student leadership, special events and workshops, or community life.
Multicultural Diversity at Corban
Corban engages multicultural diversity from a variety of perspectives. Corban is equipping each of our students with the critical thinking skills and diverse perspectives they need to thrive in a multicultural world. In addition, Corban’s reach extends beyond Salem, Oregon, as we partner with organizations across the globe, prepare second-language learners for university study, and provide opportunities for students to thrive in a study abroad context.
Students at Corban have the opportunity to experience leadership at the University through a variety of roles including Resident Assistant (RA), Student Activities Board (SAB), and Student Government Association (SGA). The Multicultural Resident Assistant (MRA) is a unique position that serves alongside RAs on a team in each residence hall area to give voice to diverse perspectives and challenge assumptions. The MRA provides support to multicultural students attending Corban by extending friendship, leading affinity groups, planning events, and giving space for conversation about multicultural experiences and concerns. The Office of Student Life seeks to embody the multicultural flourishing of God’s Kingdom with leadership positions on campus and by empowering diverse leaders who serve in their communities, such as the Act Six Scholarship program.
Students at Corban are required to take the following general education courses, which serve to expand their understanding of the multicultural, multiethnic world in which they live:
- Intercultural studies elective
- Worldview Seminar
- Humanities elective
- American History Survey
- History survey elective
- Social science elective
In addition, students have the opportunity to take courses such as Minority Authors, Cultural Intelligence for Future Leaders, Cultural Anthropology, Intercultural Communication, and a variety of other communications, literature, and history courses that help students expand their understanding of the world outside of their own lived experience.
Students learn from faculty members of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. In addition, Corban’s focus on relationship encourages students and faculty to dialogue both in and outside the classroom about students’ questions and discoveries as they learn to see themselves and understand God’s Word in a multicultural, diverse world.
Corban students have multiple opportunities to study in a cross-cultural environment and explore their discipline in a rich, culturally-informed way. These opportunities include any of the BestSemester study abroad programs offered through the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), a Semester in Spain program, and short-term study tours led by Corban faculty to Indonesia, Morocco, Israel, England, and other countries. No matter which program students choose, these study abroad experiences help them round out their education, challenge their assumptions about others, further their life experience, and enhance their understanding of their faith in a non-American context.
Each year, students from a variety of majors and programs participate in cross-cultural service trips. Over spring break, students have the opportunity to develop and lead mission trips to areas within the United States and Mexico. Each summer, students, staff, and faculty lead Summer of Service (SOS) trips to countries such as Greece, Colombia, Peru, Czech Republic, and more.
Several faculty members also regularly lead major-specific trips. For example, each summer biomedical science students travel to Haiti to gain hands-on experience serving in medical clinics. Education students have observed and taught in classrooms in South Korea and Kenya. Ministry students have assisted with pastor training and outreach in Cameroon and Uganda.
Opportunities vary from year to year, but each trip challenges students to put their faith into practice, observe how Christians can enter cross-cultural contexts with sensitivity and respect, and see the Christian faith lived out in a non-American context.
Corban’s weekly chapel (MWF) creates time and space for the Corban community to grow together spiritually and to challenge one another to put faith into action each day. To accomplish these goals, it is important that chapel provide a platform for the Corban community to highlight voices within Christianity that speak from a non-dominant cultural perspective and offer opportunities for seeing the Kingdom of God more fully through the diversity in the Body of Christ. Enjoy listening to previous chapel presentations on the Corban University SoundCloud channel.
Corban’s Reach program seeks to raise awareness and provide service opportunities that cultivate a life of service. Through Reach, students put their faith in action and serve the community, focusing on the following frameworks: hunger and housing, education and literacy, justice and dignity, creation care, and discipleship.
The Reach program provides opportunities for Corban to serve the diverse community surrounding our campus. Students are able to learn about community needs and make an impact through the following opportunities:
- Monthly awareness initiatives and events that highlight cultural, humanitarian, and sociopolitical issues around the world.
- University-wide service days (Warrior Welcome Serve Day, MLK Serve Day, Service Saturdays, etc.).
- Service projects for student body teams and affinity groups (e.g., athletic teams, academic cohorts, etc.).
- Spring break service trips, both locally and globally.
Throughout the year, students across campus are provided various opportunities to engage in the ongoing discussion about multicultural equity through platforms like Cultural Intelligence (CQ) Workshops, Implicit Bias Trainings, and student focus groups.
Here are just a few examples of events that help shape students’ understanding of their multicultural world:
- Each year, Corban hosts World Outreach Week, an opportunity for students to attend dozens of talks and presentations by guest speakers who work in the mission field around the world.
- Each May, international students from Indonesia host a Bakar Batu, a traditional Indonesian backyard barbecue.
- In spring 2020, Corban partnered with the Salem Leadership Foundation to offer students and staff a Diversity and Incarceration Bus Tour through the city of Salem, giving students an inside look at cultural history of their local community. For upcoming events, see Corban’s Event Page.
Center for Global Engagement
The Corban University Center for Global Engagement (CGE) provides a place for Christians to work together to discuss and address global issues affecting Christian education, the church, and other Christian organizations working to further the gospel in international contexts. From equipping Christian teachers in Indonesia to pastors in Uganda to Bible translators in Israel, Corban continues to partner in equipping the global Church to “make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.”
Learn more about Corban’s engagement around the globe by following Corban University Center for Global Engagement on Facebook!
Corban Language Institute
The Corban Language Institute comes alongside students for whom the English language provides a barrier to obtaining a Corban education. Through the Pathway to English program, students are able to prepare for study at the American university level. This program provides students the opportunity for high-quality intensive English instruction, coupled with a strong Christian community to enable them to achieve their goals to the glory of God.