Christian School Association Goes Woke?

ACSI partners with UnifiEd to offer Christian schools resources on Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Reconciliation with focus on Multiculturalism

A professor who secretly teaches James Cone to unaware Southern Baptist pastors will provide diversity and inclusion training for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). The partnership was announced in press releases from ACSI and UnifiEd.

“As Christians, we are called to disciple all of God’s children to reflect Christ in a culturally diverse world,” said ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor. “The partnership with UnifiEd will equip our educators so they can do this effectively.”

Walter Strickland, a professor at SEBTS who was exposed for teaching heretical James Cone in a story by the New York Times, heads up UnifiED and participates in the ACSI Flourishing Schools Institute.

Dr. Strickland has praised heretic Dr. Cone many times in the last few years.

“Dr. Cone allowed me to see a new vista, a new space, a new avenue to allow the gospel to be made manifest,” Strickland said in October 2018. “So, I sort of look at what the gospel is doing as a more broad reality now. Not that I’ve switched the spiritual for the physical or the social but both.”

Dr. Strickland is a known proponent of concepts like Critical Race Theory.

“Walter Strickland teaches Critical Race Theory, and you look at black theology and some of the things he has said. Frankly, I am surprised he is still on the [Southeastern] faculty,” former ERLC scholar Dr. Craig Mitchell remarked.

 Dr. Mitchell’s assertion appears to be supported by other statements made by SEBTS professor Dr. Strickland. He has even said that Christianity was used to oppress some people.

Strickland said, “Christianity and race in America were intertwined at its inception because Christianity was the thing used to say, ‘How can we enslave these people yet evangelize them?’

The alliance between the Association of Christian Schools International and UnifiED “is aligned with ACSI’s Flourishing Initiative, which defines a flourishing Christian school as a community of students, educators and families that glorifies Christ and excels in knowing Him and making Him known,” ACSI said in the press release.

Diversity and inclusion are biblical values, according to UnifiED’s press release on the topic.

“For Christians, motivation to work toward Christ-centered unity and God-honoring diversity does not have to come from negative social or political pressure, but from biblical affirmation,” UnifiED said in its press release.

Your local Christian school now has access to resources on diversity and inclusion for the discounted price of $300 per year for digital and print access to diversity resources! Individuals can subscribe to their monthly digest of diversity information for $12!

Your local Christian school can now sound just as hip and with the diversity and inclusion movement as the secular government schools.

However, what do these groups mean by diversity?

In the secular use (and even among some in the church today) there is a cultural relativism that arises out of the multiculturalism movements of the 1990s and 2000s.

And multicultural is the goal of Dr. Strickland’s organization, according to the press release: “The majority of our resources are designed to assist leaders with the ongoing challenge of implementing a God-glorifying diversity strategy that fosters a multicultural environment.”

As Samuel P. Huntington said, we should reject the “divisive siren calls of multiculturalism.”

As New Discourses explains, diversity depends upon this cultural relativism. They write, diversty depends “upon cultural relativism, that ‘no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.’ The important thing to recognize here is that this statement is not limited under Critical Social Justice to generally arbitrary cultural mores like styles of dress, food, music, speech, and so on, but also includes the belief that knowledge-producing and dispute-resolving methodologies—like science, liberalism, capitalism and property ownership, philosophy, debate, reliance upon evidence, and so on.”

Multiculturalism is dangerous to any sense of shared identity. By promoting this type of view that all cultures are equal it erects barriers between people instead of creating a shared identity. As Francis Fukuyama said of Samuel P. Huntington’s work, “He was more justified in his concern that contemporary understandings of multiculturalism and identity politics were putting up unnecessary barriers to assimilation.”

Multiculturalism is about relativism. That is not a Christian approach.

Christian schools should be teaching a Christian identity and not promoting a multicultural environment.