15 Responses

  1. Jeff
    Jeff September 3, 2013 at 8:42 AM |

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks for your willingness to be a reconciler. You mentioned ‘Divided by Faith’- I wonder if the premise of that book is part of the reason that Christian institutions can be even more prone to racism.

  2. Drew Hart
    Drew Hart September 3, 2013 at 9:04 AM |

    Thanks Jeff. And yeah, absolutely, I think the premise of Divided by Faith acutely describes what takes place in many Christian institutions. Even though that book doesn’t offer solutions or offer hope in any particular way because it is just descriptive, it was reading that book while experiencing life on campus that deeply impacted how I decided to respond.

    1. Jeff
      Jeff September 3, 2013 at 11:38 AM |

      Did you ever read the follow up, United by Faith? I did years ago but remember little of it, I’m thinking of digging it back out.

      1. Drew Hart
        Drew Hart September 3, 2013 at 9:48 PM |

        I did read it. I didn’t think it was as powerful of a book as Divided by Faith was. But it offers glimpses into the life of churches that are trying to be the answer which is important.

  3. sara michael
    sara michael September 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM |

    Fantastic write up Drew! Thanks for sharing your experiences- good & bad. We commend you for your willingness to submit to walking with Christ no matter what come/came your way even though it might’ve been hard. May God make your life to be a testimony to many. Shanti & Bernardo

    1. Drew Hart
      Drew Hart September 3, 2013 at 9:49 PM |

      Thank you!

  4. T. C. Moore
    T. C. Moore September 3, 2013 at 10:10 AM |

    Drew, thank you so much for sharing your experience with such insight and emotion. And that you Christena for creating this series! We can never hope to see healing and reconciliation in our churches if the racism in our schools is left hidden and protected.

    1. Drew Hart
      Drew Hart September 3, 2013 at 9:50 PM |

      Appreciate it. And yes, it is time to pull the curtain on these things, and Christena’s series has provided several angles on this issue to help us better understand what is going on.

  5. Leigh Kramer
    Leigh Kramer September 3, 2013 at 1:27 PM |

    Thank you for sharing this part of your story, Drew. Your last line is especially telling. And while I didn’t go to a Christian college, it got me reflecting about my own college experience. We want to think we are equally friendly with everyone but are we in actuality?

    1. Drew Hart
      Drew Hart September 5, 2013 at 8:04 AM |

      Thanks Leigh, while this was targeting Christian schools, I would expect for a lot to apply beyond it to all colleges.

  6. RLDennis
    RLDennis September 4, 2013 at 8:47 AM |

    I am a little late to the party here, but have enjoyed reading the comments. I am an African American woman who graduated from a Christian Liberal Arts College more than 30 years ago and am sad to hear that things have not changed much. Interestingly enough, this college recently contacted me and asked that I become a member of an alumni advisory council. I spoke very frankly with them about my bittersweet experience and the response was “we won’t improve if people aren’t honest with us”. I’ve agreed to be on the council which has a 3 year term. I may use this blog as a resource and plan to keep you posted.

    1. Drew Hart
      Drew Hart September 5, 2013 at 8:07 AM |

      RLDennis, it is sad to realize that change is happening very slowly at many Christian Colleges. However, it is wonderful that you have the opportunity to speak back into the life of the school. Your voice is sorely needed!

  7. Peterson Onyeukwu (@aPoliticalXtian)
    Peterson Onyeukwu (@aPoliticalXtian) September 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM |

    So my view is that the problem with many Christian schools is the problem with American Evangelicalism broadly. Christians in America live in quite the bubble and are not aware of how their worldview fits into a global narrative and where they fit in across the entire history of Christendom.

    Christian colleges only intensify this error in perspective. My own experience at a predominately white (understatement, really) Christian college was much the same as yours, except I could not handle the daily assault to my identity as an African American. I excluded myself from the typical college experience. I found it astounding that I could more readily relate to non-Christians who struggled daily to survive, than with many of my peers. The crisis that this perspective presented to my own worldview would have shattered my faith had it not been for the full and complete work of Christ (that is to say God’s hand in my salvation was undeniably clear).

    The problem I think with Christian schools is not one of failed institutions but a worldview that presents America as the shining city on the hill and Western Christianity as the most representative of holy living. Clearly the world at large does not think so, as Christian communities not grounded in western dominance around the globe are outpacing America’s paltry growth in attendants.

    Until Christian institutions of higher learning critically assess their foundations and America’s decreasing role as a world power, they will continue to fail in producing quality students and leaders ready to meet 21st century challenges.

    Peterson Onyeukwu

  8. Weekend Reading (and why there is Christmas in my heart) | crazy little thing called love

    […] Miscalculating Racism: Life on a Christian College Campus “What I was left with, as I reflected over my own experience, was that my time at this mostly white Christian college was harsher than my time at the mostly white suburban public school. But how could that be? How could my time among white Christians have been filled with more racial prejudice and hostility than among white non-Christians?” […]

  9. Pastor Darryl King
    Pastor Darryl King September 9, 2013 at 7:40 AM |

    Thanks Pastor Drew! Keep up your good work for the Kingdom. Now living as a resident in the South, attending a strongly evangelical Seminary, mentoring millennials, and being the only African American senior staff member in a Southern Baptist Convention church, I experience, almost daily, the challenges America still faces with racism. I am confident that God has placed me here in someway to bring attention to this issue. It is interesting that I was directed to Christena Cleveland’s site, then to your post. I preached this past weekend on being a disciple of Christ and what that looked like in this post modern, so called post racial society. Her article, and your post, provided validation of what God has called me to do. I constantly wonder why He moved my family and me from comfortable surroundings in Montgomery County, PA to a very unfamiliar environment in the Lake Norman region of North Carolina just north of Charlotte. I now know! There is worked to be done here. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

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