by Haley Williamson
Students are beginning to see a pattern that Core 150 has fallen into. By no means do I discredit the importance of learning about the history of Christianity, and touching on other religions and their histories.
However, I do believe Core has developed a pattern of educating students about Christian, white male thinkers and there needs to be either a re-integration of diversity into the Core curriculum or a new way to promote it. The diversity of which I speak includes the study of other geographical regions and their cultures, deeper perspectives from outside the Christian and religious realm as well as events which have truly shaped the course of history that do not revolve around white, male Christians. The need for a more diverse curriculum was first brought to my attention by sophomore Katie Chandler. After spending a few semesters at Whitworth, she took a step back and recognized the need for Core to break its pattern and mold. Chandler does not just want to shed light on the subject, but bring genuine awareness and a call to action. She has begun to talk to faculty about the need she sees and discovered a few things about the past curriculum of Core that further drove her passion for this.
“In the past, Core 150 used to study events like the Civil Rights Movement and people like Martin Luther King,” Chandler said. “As Christians, we need to understand that the Kingdom is made up of more than just white males from a few centuries ago, and that we are called to understand and accept those most different from us.”
Right now, Core 150 does focus on other people’s perspectives and worldviews, but they are from denominations not far from the ones we associate with ourselves.
“By doing this, we are not only emulating Christ, but we are creating an environment where minorities and people from diverse backgrounds feel welcomed and understood,” Chandler said. “We would begin to start sending a message that they and their respective cultures and histories are just as important as Calvin or Luther; we will be creating a campus of open-minded and culturally competent students.”
I am not saying that the Core group needs to start from scratch and re-create the entire program, I think they need to take into consideration the observations made by students such as Chandler and bring back the past curriculum that explores diversity.
It is possible to do this through another outlet as well, such as the Freshman Seminar class. Regardless, Whitworth needs to proactively promote an education that reflects the Kingdom of God.
Contact Haley Williamson at email@example.com