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A Message from the President

By Kent J. Ingle, DMin
President
Southeastern University

May 31, 2020

 

Recently our nation has witnessed horrific incidents that have resulted in the unnecessary loss of life. With each new incident, all of us are more outraged…more ashamed…more discouraged…and more depressed.

The fact that this kind of injustice is still happening to our brothers and sisters in America in the 21st century is so, so very wrong. It’s shocking. And it’s outrageous to witness how deeply rooted racism is still in our culture. As President, I want you to know that I am deeply concerned about how these situations are affecting the social fabric of our great nation, as well as the students and their families who call SEU home.

As a father, an American citizen, and ultimately a follower of Christ, I unequivocally condemn the racism and abuse of power and evil that was demonstrated not only in the instances of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor but countless others. They are not the first victims of racism and the abuse of power, and their deaths force each and every one of us to recognize that we need a deep change in our society. As I had stated in my Instagram post earlier this week, I denounce the evils of racism, detest prejudice, and believe that we must come together in unity.

As a Christ-centered community we strive to teach our students to live according to the two greatest commandments given to us by Jesus; to “Love the Lord your God” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). To love your neighbor is to condemn injustice committed against them. Being a good neighbor means understanding that when one person engages in these kinds of atrocities, the entire society suffers.

Loving your neighbor also means we must recognize when we need to listen to the voices of the victims of this prolific evil. I will be the first to say that I do not have the answers, and there is much that is difficult for me to understand. In all things we must strive to listen first—especially to our African-American community. It is from a posture of listening and seeking to understand that we as a community intend to act.

And make no mistake—we at SEU are committed to being part of the solution to this great evil. As a university, we have active conversations and plans in place in regard to diversity. Over the last year, we’ve added layers to our development of a comprehensive and ongoing approach to being culturally sensitive and providing a university culture where we can learn, grow, and continue to make progress in the areas of racial reconciliation, diversity, and social justice.

From our campus culture, to our curriculum design and our leadership pipeline and structure, we are committed to actively fighting against the injustice against our African-American students and their communities. This statement is not the first that we have made condemning this injustice, and it will not be the last.

At this moment, I understand the African-American community is hurting and mourning, and as the scriptures teach us in Romans 12:15, “we mourn with those who mourn.” I want our African-American students to know that my wife, Karen, and I, and your SEU community, stand in solidarity with you. We love you. And we will never stop fighting for liberty and justice for all. Together, we will work toward realizing the hope of a more equal and just society.

And now I would like to invite our SEU family to join me in this prayer for anyone who has ever been hurt by prejudice, bigotry, or racism.

Father, our hearts are broken for people across this nation who are hurting, grieving, and afraid right now…for those who are angry, discouraged, and depressed.

This is not your divine plan for our world. We have made such a mess of what you created. We have lived self-centered lives. We have fought with each other instead of fighting for each other. And we believe the worst about each other instead of believing the best about each other. Help us to remember God that it was your plan, to create diversity…you intentionally made us different in so many unique ways. Help us to realize that to reject any person that you’ve created is to reject you, the Master Creator. Help us to enjoy the differences that we are. Help us to repent and turn to you in the midst of this crisis. Fill us with humility and civility toward each other. Help us to overcome evil with good. And most of all, God, help us to look to you for strength, courage, guidance, and wisdom in the days ahead. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.