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Credit

This blog has caught the rough end of a lot of thinking I have done about ACU and the Graduate School of Theology. I continue to churn out deep criticisms of this system, but I must give credit where credit is due. My conversations are typically centered on the work of the spirit and the place of and respect for spiritual ministry within the GST context, which I am not sure has the place that it should, but ACU and the GST do shine when it comes to their academic and intellectual mission.

The place of the university in the world is academic and intellectual inquiry. The university, by definition, is the place in society where ideas are created, tested, and forged. Then they are continually reexamined. Any university that does not engage in this practice, or operates only by a predetermined set of ideas, fails to be a university and is only an indoctrination regime. ACU, while grounded in Christian values and framework, seems to recognize this mission about itself.

What brings this topic up is the upcoming visit by a Christian activist group called SoulForce. This group is touring the country, visiting colleges and military schools that have standing policies against homosexual behavior. Their aim is to bring as much national attention as possible to the silent suffering, hiding, and self-hatred that homosexuals must endure at these institutions. They have made ACU one of their stops.

ACU has proceeded very wisely in the face of this situation. They made the SoulForce issue public to the students and faculty long in advance and have opened the campus, within reason, to the group. While publicly reaffirming the standing core value concerning ACU's Christian view of homosexual behavior, the leadership has encouraged open dialogue on the issue and has facilitated multiple events for students to discuss this specific situation and the issues at large. In this same vein, the Graduate School of Theology is holding its own four hour event specifically for their graduate students. The Dean of the College of Biblical Studies has already made available several readings that address the homosexuality topic from a number of theological perspectives (pro and con) in preparation for this serious discussion.

Openness to inquiry. Absense of fear and rejection of dogma in the face of hard questions. Facilitation of dialogue among various perspectives. While total consensus may never be reached, the quest for better understanding of what we know and believe is sharpened by the work of the university when it lives up to its calling to continuous intellectual pursuit.


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