IWU Christian Community Task Force

How does a Christ-centered academic community, committed to consistently living out its Christian convictions as outlined by The Wesleyan Church, live together in loving relationship with those who may not hold those same beliefs and convictions? The President of Indiana Wesleyan University has thoughtfully curated a team of experts to explore this conversation. Their desire is to live in a community that embraces "the dignity of difference"; their purpose is to offer a summative response as it relates to IWU (broadly), then to provide a framework and set of recommendations for the practical application of that response.

Task Force Members

A team of thoughtful and educated experts from the church, the academy, and the marketplace will lead the task force. These members individually represent diverse populations (gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability).

Co-Chairs

Mrs Diane McDaniel | VP Diversity and Inclusion - IWU
Dr. Colleen Derr | President Wesley Seminary and Ordained Elder, The Wesleyan Church

Members

Miranda Cruz | Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Director of The Sacred Alliance Center for the Ministry of Reconciliation at Wesley Seminary
Chris Bounds | Professor of Christian Doctrine at Wesley Seminary, Ordained elder in AR Conference UMC
Karen Dowling | Executive Director of Multicultural Learning and Engagement at IWU National & Global, academic emphasis in social foundations including multicultural education
Cindy Faulkner | Professor in IWU’s MSW program, licensed clinical social worker, researcher and textbook author
Andrea Summers | IWU-Marion campus pastor, Dean of Spiritual Formation
Pastor Shawn Cossin | Pastor Heritage Church, a multi-site Wesleyan congregation in Illinois
Betty Overton-Adkins | Faculty Member Union Institute and University, works with the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan
Larry Burnley | Vice President Diversity & Inclusion, University of Dayton; President and co-founder of Inclusive Engagements, LLC.
Alex Huskey | Chancellor of the Marion campus, Ivy Tech Community College; Pastor of New Bethany Church of God in Christ
John Wilson | IWU alumnus, BS in Christian Ministries 2016 and MPTh 2018, Speaker on Faith and Sexuality at Revoice, Wyoming Equality, and The Center for Faith, Gender, and Sexuality

Resource Staff

Shawn Matter, IWU Legal Council
Don Sprowl, Associate Provost - IWU, Data Analyst and Scribe for Taskforce
Russ Gunsalus, The Wesleyan Church, Executive Director Education and Clergy Development

Outcomes

After a season of hearing one another’s stories of exclusion and embrace and active dialog to the prompt, the task force will:

  • Articulate principles to guide further dialog and application as we seek to become a loving community that lives together respectfully, extending dignity, respect, and honor, while honoring our Wesleyan heritage, beliefs, and denominational commitments becomes a reality.
  • Create a List of Recommendations for administration to address next steps for implementation and realization of a loving community that lives together respectfully, extending dignity, respect and honor, while honoring our Wesleyan heritage, beliefs, and denominational commitments.
  • *Formulate a White Paper that will stand as a resource and guide and outline for further research as IWU pursues the goal of developing a loving community that lives together respectfully, extending dignity, respect, and honor, while honoring our Wesleyan heritage, beliefs, and, denominational commitments.

Timeframe

The task force will meet bi-weekly over three months to complete the objectives and offer a response to the President of Indiana Wesleyan University.

Phase 1:  Task Force (Sept-Dec)

The task force will meet through fall of 2020 to articulate principles, develop a framework, and make recommendations for application.

Phase 2:  IWU Planning and Implementation (Jan-June)

The University representatives to the taskforce will work with the individual units (IWU Marion, IWU N/G, Wesley Seminary, Central Admin.) to create sub-taskforces that are unit specific to take the recommendations in light of the principles and framework and develop specific and practical application.

Phase 3:  Implementation Continued and Sustained Engagement (July 2021 forward)

The University units will continue the process of implementation of recommendations and maintain sustained engagement in light of the guiding principles moving forward.