Intercultural and Global Engagement Commitments and Key Documents
Westmont- A Historical Reflection
Westmont began in Los Angeles in 1937 by embracing a distinctive mission as a Christian institution of higher education focused on rigorous academics and a deep love for God. Our commitment to diversity originated with our founders, Ruth Kerr, a diligent and visionary businesswoman with a strong faith, and Wallace Emerson, an intellectual dedicated to combining Christianity with excellent scholarship. They strongly believed in and pursued their passionate quest for educating young men and women for meaningful Christian service in a diverse, multicultural world.
Diversity is Biblical: We believe that the call to be a diverse community is rooted in scripture and evident in God's creation.
"There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the lamb." - Revelation 7:9
"God saw all that he had made and it was very good." - Genesis 1:1-31
Diversity is Communal: We believe that diversity can only be expressed in community where we are sharing our distinct gifts, experiences and perspectives.
"There are different kinds of gifts...The body is a unit, though it is made of many parts...if one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it..." - 1 Cor. 12:4-31
Diversity is Practical: We believe that we most effectively contribute to and benefit from a globalized society by learning skills that allow us to work, worship and live well and wisely in our world.
"A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another." - Romans 12:4-5
Biblical and Theological Foundations of Diversity
The motto of Westmont College—Christus primatum tenens (Christ holding preeminence)—signals our commitment to a vision of the universal sovereignty of Jesus Christ. We are bound to this vision because of our anchoring in the Scriptures, which present Christ as Lord over all creation. Confession of Christ’s preeminence gives Westmont powerful reasons to welcome diversities of gender, ethnicity, class, and culture in its population and programs.
Westmont's strategic map is a one-page display of the college's central challenge, strategic priorities and strategic objectives for a three-year period. The strategic map identifies our priorities for diversity and global engagement as follows:
- Nourish a Sense of Belonging for Students of Color
- Hire and Retain Diverse Faculty
- Bolster Recruitment and Retention Strategies (Diversity)
- Bolster Recruitment and Retention Strategies
- Hire and Retain Diverse Staff
- Increase Diversity and Global Engagement Across the College
- Nourish the Commitment, Culture, and Skills to Thrive as a Diverse Community
Westmont’s strategic map is a one-page display of the college’s central challenge, strategic priorities and strategic objectives for a three-year period. The central challenge is articulated in the oval at the top and is supported by several strategic priorities, each with strategic objectives. Cross-cutting priorities, indicated at the bottom of the map, must be considered for any other strategic priorities to be considered complete.
- Emphasizes ongoing efforts to hire diverse faculty to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body and support achievement of Cross-cutting Strategic Priorities F and G
- Stresses increased efforts to retain diverse faculty in a highly competitive environment with the high cost of living in Santa Barbara and the financial constraints of the College
- Focuses on multiple efforts across the College to create a sense of belonging –including creating a mindset, ethos, and culture that supports belonging
- Stresses developing appropriate skills to help students and the entire Westmont community participate in and support a sense of belonging for all students
- Focuses on increasing the diversity of staff and improving staff retention –particularly with the high costs of Santa Barbara and the constraints Westmont faces in terms of compensation
- Emphasizes efforts to ensure Westmont has a diverse staff capable of supporting its mission and essential services
- Places continuing emphasis on increasing the diversity of the College consistent with its mission and core college statements – complementing increasing student diversity with increasing the diversity of faculty and staff
- Stresses ongoing efforts to increase global engagement across the College, particularly in an environment of increasing global challenges (including global sustainability)
- Recognizes that increasing the diversity of the Westmont community places unique challenges on the College’s community life
- Emphasizes implementing efforts to nourish commitment to growing as a diverse community
- Emphasizes helping students and the entire Westmont community develop the capacity for critical commitment
- Stresses developing the culture of the College and the skills of community members to help Westmont thrive as an increasingly diverse community