OCC's Multicultural Affairs Department seeks to cultivate a multiethnic, multicultural campus and constituency by working across college departments to intentionally recruit and retain ethnic minority students and to increase campus and classroom cultural inclusivity.
The Ozark community is committed to honoring and broadening the ethnic diversity of our community and to treating every person with respect and love. We want every student to feel at home at OCC, and we want to equip our students to be culturally agile in any context. Ozark equips students to serve in a diverse world. As we train men and women for Christian service, we seek to raise them up as leaders who encourage cultural and ethnic diversity for the sake of the gospel.
Mosaic Lunches are a chance for OCC students, faculty, and staff to discuss difficult topics in the nation and the church, including racial and ethnic diversity, culture, politics, and more. For more information, contact Director of Diversity Matthew McBirth at [email protected] or 417.626.1289.
SPRING 2021 MOSAIC LUNCHES
A Conversation on Black Lives Matter: Hosted by Matthew McBirth, Wednesday, February 10, at 12:30 p.m. CT (via Zoom)
A Conversation on Poverty and Privilege: Hosted by Matt Gilchrist (executive pastor, Hope City Church), Wednesday, March 17, at 12:30 p.m. CT (via Zoom)
A Conversation on LGBTQ+, God, and the Church: Hosted by Michael and Beth DeFazio and Taylor Tucker, Wednesday, April 14, at 12:30 p.m. CT in the OCC Chapel Auditorium. Pizza lunch provided.
Intercultural Development Inventory
Matthew McBirth is a certified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a survey that assesses an individual's or group's capacity to engage culture well. As our communities grow in cultural diversity, the church must be able to become "all things to all people" for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor 9:19-23).
Matthew will help your church grow in cultural engagement and effectiveness when he administers the IDI, reviews the results, and offers practical advice. Contact Matthew here for more information on using the Intercultural Development Inventory in your ministry.
Why Diversity Matters
“Why does Ozark have a diversity department?”
"Why does diversity matter so much?”
“Why should the Church care about diversity?”
Because diversity is important to God.
The New Testament authors make several references to ethnicity and culture. The Gospel of Matthew recounts the genealogy of Jesus with a list that doesn't just include Jewish men, but is diverse with Gentiles and women (Matt 1:2-16). In the Gospel of John, Christ intentionally goes to Samaria to minister to a woman (John 4). In Acts, the apostles are commissioned to advance the kingdom to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8), and Paul takes the gospel to Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire (Acts 9-28). In many of his letters, Paul writes that the gospel tears down the divide between Jew and Gentile (Eph 2:11-22), and as the New Testament ends, the book of Revelation portrays God’s heavenly kingdom with people from every nation, tribe and tongue worshipping together as one (Rev 7:9-10).
The gospel of Christ is about bringing unity to the world: Christ came to reconcile the world back to God, to restore unity between the Creator and his created. But the gospel also restores unity between man and fellow man. In his last recorded prayer before the cross, Jesus said to his Father, “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21). This oneness for which Christ prayed was more than a spiritual unity among those who believe in him—it was also to be a visible manifestation to the rest of the world.
When people see a diverse Christian college or church—a place where people of different skin tones and cultures come together to worship God as one—they will know that Jesus is the Christ.
So, why does ethnic and cultural diversity matter so much to Ozark? Because it shows the world the power and love of Christ, working in his followers to restore true unity and bring heaven to earth.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:17-18).