Imagery of Regent people and campus

Doctoral Project Abstract

Bridging the Divide: The Challenge for Leadership Promoting Cultural Diversity in Christian Universities

Dahlia D. Cunningham
Regent University

"Bridging the Divide" looks at the challenges faced by leadership within universities. Beginning with a review of dramatic shifts in the demographic profile of the United States, the study examines the significance of diversity and the need for college faculty to reflect these demographic shifts. A close examination is made of Christian universities whose mandates recommend a particular attention to issues of diversity.

The demographic profile of the United States has shifted significantly based on migration patterns; bringing with it a greater racial and ethnic mix. The effect of these changes on universities is noticeable, particularly with regard to the composition of their student bodies. However, it is argued that many university faculties do not reflect these multicultural shifts in their student bodies. Acknowledging the demographic changes now occurring in higher education requires that universities respond to a comprehensive set of moral, social, and political issues that are part of the landscape of diversity and multiculturalism. Multiculturalism must be factored into the normal operations of Christian universities and be seen as a fundamental expression of expressed commitments to equity, particularly in the field of education.

The study argues that a more diverse faculty provides students with opportunities for fuller cultural integration and the benefits said to naturally accrue from the presence of a more culturally rounded faculty. The effects of this increased cultural awareness on global competency and student preparation to engage in a dynamic global society are explored. "Bridging the Divide" is approximately 74 pages including, diagrams, charts, references, and resources. The project is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

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