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Academic Program Changes

Academic Program Changes

From the Dean of the College: For much of the past year, the faculty and administration of Eastern Nazarene College have been engaged in discussions about how to optimize our portfolio of academic programs. In many ways, this is a normal part of what healthy academic...

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Dr. Drew Hart Delivers Two-Part Series During MLK Jr. Day Celebrations

Jan 20, 2023

Quincy, MA – Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) welcomed Dr. Drew Hart, an accomplished author, activist, and professor, to the annual MLK Jr. Day celebrations.

The lecture, titled Putting on Our Blue Jeans: White Supremacy and the Call to Join God’s Delivering Presence, was held on January 18 in the Ruth Cameron Auditorium. An expert theologian, Hart began with a brief history of the church and the atrocities committed in Jesus’s name. He tied the theology that influenced slavery from as early as 1441 to the injustices committed today, within the church or out. The lecture flowed from the role of Christianity in marginalization to

Dr. Hart offered actions for the church to emulate King’s mission. He emphasized the importance of sustainable mobilization – a way to organize the community, allow people to use their agency to create change, and implement tangible goals to leverage for social change.

Christian institutions are not exempt from excluding diverse perspectives. Hart proposed changes that Christian colleges can implement to promote equity and emulate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hart stresses that not only do diverse and marginalized voices matter at the executive level, such as the Board of Trustees, but the change must trickle into the classroom as well. Educators bear the responsibility of decentering their curriculum, introducing new ideas, including under-represented voices, and preparing students for activism. Teaching, to Hart, is an important journey alongside a student, providing mentorship, support, and a holistic relationship to prepare them for life beyond the classroom. “We still imagine [these changes] as ‘tweaks,’ but it’s not tweaks that we need, we need a radical restructuring,” Hart affirms.

Dr. Hart also joined the student body the following day during chapel services. Students, staff, and faculty gathered to hear an abbreviated version of the previous night’s lecture. Hart expounds on the idea of hyper-individualism in the role of white supremacy with the notion that Western ideas around individuals are naturally exclusionary. He also touches on the meaning of Biblical freedom versus what society has adapted as freedom and the way it disconnects us from those around us.

“What does it mean to be born into a world that already has patterns of sin built into it?” Hart asks. He urges Christians to break free and stop perpetuating the patterns of the world, because all people are made in God’s image, and everyone is interwoven and connected in a way that’s bigger than individual perception.

Hart closes both speeches with an example from Martin Luther King, Jr. He tells the story of King in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963. An injunction was just introduced against marching, people weren’t mobilizing in big numbers anymore, and their bail fund was running out. They had to weigh the cost of sitting idly by against disobeying the injunction with dwindling funds. Hart tells us how King is silent for a moment, and then leaves the room. When he returns, he is dressed in blue jeans and a work shirt, so he can roll up his sleeves and get to work.

Hart calls on all people to follow in King’s footsteps by taking note of where injustice is present today and determining actionable steps for social change. He encourages everyone to look outside of themselves and see how everyone is interconnected in God’s love and mobilize. Lastly, Hart invites all people to put on their blue jeans, roll up their sleeves, and get to work.

 

Academic Program Changes

Academic Program Changes

From the Dean of the College: For much of the past year, the faculty and administration of Eastern Nazarene College have been engaged in discussions about how to optimize our portfolio of academic programs. In many ways, this is a normal part of what healthy academic...

Eastern Nazarene College Announces New Community Partnerships

Eastern Nazarene College Announces New Community Partnerships

Quincy, MA – Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) announces the launch of several new and expanded local partnerships to strengthen student services. Over this past summer, ENC formalized agreements with several community-based organizations and agencies to enhance student...