WWU Haven: our framework
As a Seventh-day Adventist University, Walla Walla University is a community of faith and discovery committed to excellence in thought, generosity in service, beauty in expression, and faith in God. “Central to these teachings is the belief that every person is created in the image of God as a being of inestimable value and worth, imbued with powers of intelligence, stewardship, and creativity akin to those of the Creator.” Recognizing that all students need love and understanding to thrive as children of God, the university is committed to following the example of Jesus, who crossed barriers, challenged prejudices, and embraced the marginalized groups of His day.
Walla Walla University aims to engage with biblical faithfulness and Christ-like compassion to students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Research shows that many Adventist young adults who identify as LGBTQ+ have experienced rejection from family and churches. Such marginalization has led to high suicide rates. Nearly one-third of these young adults have contemplated suicide within the last six months, and nearly one-third have attempted suicide at some point in their lives.1 We at Walla Walla University recognize the vulnerable situation of LGBTQ+ students on our campus and are committed to creating an environment of understanding and acceptance.
For this reason, we at Walla Walla University establish Haven as a place of engagement and emotional support for the well-being and success of LGBTQ+ students.
We are committed to lives of integrity that are consistent with biblical teaching. It is our aim to create space for connection to one another and encounters with the Divine. At Haven we hold to the following:
- We acknowledge the biblical advocacy for human connection and support through friendship and a community of faith. (Romans 12:9-16, Ephesians 4:25-32, Hebrews 10:24-25, I Peter 4:8-9)
- We believe that every person is a creation made in the image of God and the recipient of His unconditional love. (Genesis 1:26-27, Romans 5:1-9, Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 136)
- We pledge to treat every person with dignity, respect, and compassion. (Luke 12:6-7, Ephesians 2:10)
- We commit to be at peace with our fellow humans, exhibiting patience, humility, bearing with one another in love, and encouraging each other in the body of Christ. (Matthew 5:9, John 16:33, James 3:17-18)
1VanerWaal C., Sedlacek D., & Lane L. (2017) “The Impact of Family Rejection or Acceptance among LGBT+ Millennials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church” Journal of Social Work and Christianity, vol. 44, no. 1&2, pp 72-95