This statement of inclusivity is intended to be consistent with all Lenoir-Rhyne University policies regarding the institution's commitment to providing an environment for learning, working, and living that promotes equal opportunity, inclusion, and non-discrimination for all community members. It supplements University affirmations of inclusivity to reflect the unique mission and character of Seminary education as both an academic and an ecclesial endeavor. As such the statement provides theological foundation distinctive to the seminary's specific learning community that is intended to complement the University's general non-discrimination statements and policies.
We, the academic community of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, confess that we are given to each other by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to be an ever more welcoming community as we are ever more conformed to the image of the Triune God, a diversity in unity. The Gospel compels us to go beyond civility or tolerance to love our neighbors as ourselves. We seek to be a safe and gracious community which confesses that all persons are created in the image of God. We recognize that people experience a diversity of sexualities and gender identities, and we welcome all persons into full participation in the life of our community. As an academic community, we expect and invite continued dialogue which, in mutual love, welcomes disparate voices while rejecting any disparagement of others. We wish by this statement to assert our commitment to learn and practice a radical hospitality toward all persons and their families, sharing each other's joys and burdens, successes and failures, hopes and heartbreaks, in recognition that our shared faith is embraced by God's promise in which all are being reconciled to God and each other in Christ by the Holy Spirit.