Inclusive Language

It is the policy of Asbury Seminary to use inclusive or non-sexist language in all Seminary publications, literature and communications. The faculty of Asbury Seminary has adopted the following statement recommending the use of nondiscriminatory language by all members of the Seminary community.

Rooted deeply within the history and heritage of Methodism is the active participation in the lifting of oppression in any form so as to extend and implement the freedom of the gospel to all whom God has created and seeks to redeem. The record of Wesleyans on behalf of women is impressive and honorable and should be furthered by the modern offspring of Wesley.

Language does make a difference. When terms create certain feelings, we respond to these feelings for the sake of fostering relationships. We do not bind ourselves to etymology or even historical usage, for history is always thrusting us into new situations and struggles. We are constantly adapting our language in order to be responsible and effective communicators.

Language does not create a problem nor does language solve a problem, but language may contribute to both sometimes in obvious ways, more often in quite subtle ways. It is the intent of the “Suggestions for Inclusive Language” (booklet available in the Office of Student Services) to help sensitize the Asbury Seminary community to some of the cultural problems related to using previously accepted gender specific references as generic terms and to provide help in moving beyond our present habits to more just expressions.

Additionally, with the diversity of backgrounds and lifestyles represented in the Seminary community, the question of appropriate dress is raised periodically. Generally, the standards of “good taste” and “appropriate dress for the appropriate occasion” are adequate descriptions. The specific standard determined by the administration is that gym shorts, swim suits and bare feet are not appropriate for the cafeteria, library, chapel and classrooms.