Tag Archives: global community

Can You Hear the New Immigrant Saying, “You are so welcoming, but do you see me”?

In 2006, when I arrived into the world of student services, the international student scene had just found equilibrium after 9/11.  The homeland security system had heightened the requirements for incoming exchange students, and what was then the role of international student services became too large for the one director.  Asbury did what few other schools designed: to move government and visa work into Financial Aid and keep the care and concern piece with Student Services.  The office for International Student Services provided basic transition support, culture shock, academic success, tax workshop, and a variety of other miscellaneous services to international students.  The DSO oversaw financial aid and visa work.

The ISS, at that point, had been characterized by an assumption: a majority or “normal person” reached and cared for the marginalized rest.  Or in similar institutions an “other” reached the marginalized rest.  The model presupposed an in-group and an out-group. The benefits of this way were clear: you ensure localized care for specific needs, crises, and emergencies, and there are clear boundaries.  The impulse was to offer hospitality baskets to new visa students and to put on culture shock and tax workshops.  And after two or three years many international students begin saying things like, “you are so welcoming, but do you see me?  Do you want all of me?”

Why Young People are Starting to Travel the Globe

Every generation has to rethink their world.  Today, young people everywhere have to grapple with new peoples arriving from all over the world…who will not give up their culture.  That’s our new dynamic.

For the last six years, the American Council for Education, has examined the link between internationalization and diversity/multicultural affairs.   Some forward thinking institutions agree with what A.C.E. has been saying: “Synergistic efforts between these areas can assist institutions in education more effectively for global connects and local commitments.”[1]  The point: we are no longer dealing with Black vs White in America.  That day has passed.  Yet, with all these new people around, we can never lose the lessons we have learned in our American race struggle.

The A.C.E’s, At Home in the World Initiative hopes in the end bolster cultural competency in the American graduate as,

“the job market globalizes, and the workforce continues to diversify. In order to become responsible, productive citizens, our students must understand their own cultures and those of their neighbors at home and afar.   For institutions to fulfill their service mission in a globalized society, they will need to advance the analytical frameworks, pedagogical enhancements, diversification strategies, and innovative solutions to societal issues that the work in this intersection affords.

Older generations are wary about us young people liking to travel the globe.  What they miss is that any competitive professional in the mid to late 21st century will have to have not just knowledge about other folks but exposure to their world as a minority among their everyday life.  Young people should be traveling and more than we first might proscribe.

[1] See the American Council of Education’s initiative seeking to bring together the historic missions for diversity/ multicultural education and internationalization on U.S. campuses. See: http://www.acenet.edu/Content/NavigationMenu/ProgramsServices/cii/current/gap/index.htm

No More Diversity Sessions Please

In the summer of 2011, the most diverse group of Christians ever to be gathered found their way to Cape Town, South Africa for the Fourth Lausaunne World Congress.  More than 4,000 men and women gathered to talk about community and faith and to explore the shape of Christian life in the 21st century.  Imagine the logistical and cultural nightmares.  For any who have sat in a stuffy conference room wading through a session on diversity or multiculturalism— or for those who have laughed through the ridiculous diversity training scenes portrayed on NBC’s The Office–, you can imagine that it would have taken more than the same old, “every body’s equal” speech. You will know that for an epic world congress or even for the diversifying liberal arts campus, we need a whole new vision for global community.

In his opening speech, Executive Director of Lasaunne stressed the importance of authentic community and the formation of hearts.  Imagining the multi-leveled challenges in our world day, he suggested that, “authentic community is a precondition of authentic prophetic witness in our world.”  And for authentic community, he knows that we need hearts formed with “integrity, humility, simplicity—as bridge builders and peacemakers.”  He also brought up the idea of an “international gift exchange.”

Despite the idea sounding like a nice little diverse Christmas Party, Birsdall had something more epic in mind.  He envisioned a world, full of communities, full of individuals who are willing to share their glory with one another in a dance of mutual service. He envisioned a globe where former colonists and former colonized will work together each giving out from the gold of their cultural and personal strengths.  He envisioned a place where historical minorities and historical majority peoples could both lead and follow one another into bright futures, co-forged with the arms of brotherhood. It all sounds nice.  But you, like me, are probably thinking: man, this guy has no clue what it’s like in my community.  We have a long way to go.  Or, you may be simply wondering: how does this all pertain to me in my cozy North Atlantic town?  What do you think?

Asbury International




Reflecting: January 2-8, 2010:                           Anticipating: January 9-15, 2010:


Beeson International Center: “Incoming Beeson Pastors”

Usually the Beeson Center is bustling in January.  This year, the 3rd year international cohort arrives in February.  So get ready to welcome back our brothers and sisters as they leave their ministries and families for a 6 week intensive stretch toward their Asbury DMins.

Campus Life: “Students Serve in Haiti”

MDiv Students Colby Cuevas and his Wife Brittany and Jonathan Hansen devoted their holidays to ministry.  They served a in a local church and her community on the ouskirts of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.  Colby reflected on the ministry:

Overall, the trip was a huge blessing to me as my heart was once again “strangely warmed.” Ironically, seminary has a way of making
bones dry and hearts weary from the amount of books to be read and papers to be written. However, I have looked into the eyes of God
through the people of Haiti and have seen the flames of love burning in His heart. Although poverty, disease, and corrupt politics ravage
Haiti, God is at work and cannot be stopped. I am also confident that God is doing a mighty work in me and will continue to work through me after seminary thanks to your encouragement and prayers. God willing, I hope to return this summer with Brittany by my side to further participate in God’s work of advancing His Kingdom in Haiti. Please keep
the people of Haiti and Brittany and I in your prayers. Again, I cannot thank you enough and look forward to seeing you soon. “To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Phil. 4:20).

Administration: Asbury Hires New Dean.”

Asbury has named their new dean “Dr. Anne Gatobu” who will preside over the School of Practical Theology.  Of Asbury’s four schools (Theology and Formation, Practical Theology, World Missions and Evangelism, and Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation), the SPT trains future pastors, leaders, and counselors, for the challenges of global and local ministry.

Dr. Gatobu brings her years of training and experience into this new leadership role.  She and her Husband Harun, along with their three boys, also run FOWCUS-Kenya a ministry to orphaned children and women.


Global Community Development: “MLK Events”

In 1983, President Ronald Regan signed a bill enacting the Federal Holiday to remember and honor Dr. King. In 1994, communities began honoring the day off as a “Day On”.  In that spirit, the Asbury community will gather with the Lexington celebration on January 17th, 2011 and return for an afternoon of service.

  • The caravan for the march leaves at 8.30 am on Monday, January 17th, 2011.  The festivities last until noon.
  • We will gather back up at the student center lobby at 2.30 pm for an afternoon of service.

Campus Life: “Church Planting  Seminar”.

Wed. January 12th at 12:00pm (Cordelia A & B) Come and HAVE LUNCH ON US as we hear Rev. Matt Johnson, pastor of The Community United Methodist Church in Boone County, KY, and Rev. Kevin Burney, District Superintendent of the Covington District, tell us the exciting things happening with this innovative idea for church planting.