In pursuit of excellence in education, the mission statement of the ICA Diversity Committee is:
To develop a Kingdom focused environment throughout the ICA family that embraces the individual differences God has created in each person.
“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love,”
God has instilled talents and differences in all of us. Impact Christian Academy (ICA) values and cherishes those differences believing a diverse community creates a dynamic school environment. ICA believes that diversity in our student body, families and faculty develops thinking that values alternative viewpoints and is sensitive to the ethnic background, feelings, individual physical challenges of others as well as God-given talents and abilities.
Embracing and capitalizing on the differences God has created in all of us enhances the ICA family.
Philosophical and Biblical Position on Diversity
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
… And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the service to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to a measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. So then, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:1-6, 11-16
God is the creator of diversity and He desires that it be used for good. He made each individual in His image with a unique set of gifts and talents as a testimony to His creativity, and has allowed each one to go through a set of experiences that uniquely shape them like no one else. When diversity is properly harnessed through unity, it benefits an individual believer and a body of believers (through shared experiences and teaching) in several ways: stability in truth, maturity in knowing God more fully and Jesus Christ whom He sent, (for this is eternal life – John 17:3) and edification of the body.
God gives us guidance in how we can achieve His purposes for diversity, by walking with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Diversity can be used for bad when believers (consciously or unconsciously) base the value of an individual on the differences, rather than as God designed them. The differences may be obvious traits such as race or gender, or less obvious ones such as ethnicity or ability. Such a value system results in barriers that inhibit unity and thwart God’s purpose.
As students, staff and parents in the ICA family of believers (both present believers and potential future believers) we must recognize our need for diversity and the importance of receiving God’s gift of diversity as a tool that He can use to draw us closer to Him and to each other. As such, we seek to proactively pursue God’s plan by focusing on the diversity parameters of: Gender, Race, Age, Ability, Ethnicity, and Economic Status. We will implement the plan through tasks seeking to attract, educate and train biblical diversity to our students, staff and parents.
Diversity Development Goals
Based on ICA’s efforts to develop a richly diverse school environment, and to support the mission statement of the Diversity Committee as well as ICA’s biblical core values, the school should strive to accomplish the following goals within the next three years.
1. Through biblical teaching and example, train and encourage understanding and compassion throughout the ICA family (staff, students and families) of God-given differences in each person and each family.
2. Cultivate a school environment that understands unity is built when diversity is embraced.
3. Develop and integrate initiatives that attract a diverse population.
4. Recognize that the definition of “diversity” at ICA encompasses race, gender, individual physical challenges, individual talents, abilities, and economic status.
ICA should focus its diversity efforts on the following core groups:
- Ability (physical challenges and individual talents)
- Ethnicity (culture)
- Economic Status
Two specific committees, one for high school and one for middle school, will be developed of students chosen to serve by the Headmaster and Director of Diversity. Criteria for selection include their relationship with Jesus Christ, academic standing, leadership skills and compassion with other students.
The purpose of both student committees is to address the issues facing students in both middle school and high school as well as to provide input in the faculty’s effort to teach and educate the student body on diversity. Each committee will select officers and will operate with limited restraint from the guidance of a Faculty Advisor.
These committees will be established within the 2016-2017 school year.
A committee will be developed of specific faculty members representing all areas and levels of ICA. This committee will be specifically selected by the Head of School and Director of Diversity. Criteria for selection will include the faculty member’s relationship with Jesus Christ, tenure, and relationship with other faculty members as well as students.
The purpose of this committee is to address issues facing faculty members concerning diversity, such as recruiting qualified faculty members, curriculum, relationships between faculty members and relationship to the student body. This committee will assist the Director of Diversity in creating a program of activities designed to educate faculty members on diversity issues and develop a sense of unity and purpose among faculty members.
The Director of Diversity will be the facilitator of this committee.
Attraction (Recruitment) to ICA
ICA will strive to attract and cultivate Christ-like, compassionate students who reflect the school’s Mission Statement on diversity. ICA will work to create or further develop avenues to attract a more diverse student population initially through resources within ICA. ICA will develop and commit the necessary and available resources to the faculty hiring process in order to identify, recruit, hire and retain talented staff and educators who match the employment opening.
ICA recognizes that the exclusive nature of a private school in a predominately Caucasian community does present many faculty members with unique challenges. ICA will provide faculty members with the necessary support to overcome those challenges and give those faculty members a sense of value.
The key to a successful diversity program at ICA is the continual education of students, faculty and parents. Within the next three years, class-level training programs should be established for the entire student body with an overall goal of a continual training program through from elementary school through high school graduation.
Upon arrival at ICA, the student, family and faculty member must have their needs met. These needs are as fluid as the school environment, and outside factors continually change. While each student, family and faculty member that fit within ICA’s diversity objectives will come from varied backgrounds, the school must work to ensure that their needs are met without compromising the overall parameters of ICA.
It must be remembered that while ICA strives for the diversity that Christ described as “accepting one another in love,” this effort is not designed to be “politically correct.” ICA’s focus on diversity will be as God commands us and not society.
By staying in step with the diversity God wants at ICA and through the diligent work of the each committee and person, our school will become a diverse, vibrant environment that will enrich and inspire each student, family and faculty member.