Skip to content

Methodists, Wesleyans, and Lutherans are being influenced by the social justice movement

Since the infamous “Resolution 9,” which endorsed Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as “analytical tools” in the Southern Baptist Convention, there has been a lot of talk about America’s largest Protestant denomination. However, it’s worth noting that the social justice movement is having a universal impact on many evangelical groups, including Methodist, Wesleyan, and Lutheran denominations.

Asbury University, a traditional Wesleyan institution, now offers small group leaders the opportunity to study “social justice,” and if they’d like, to earn a DMin in “Social Justice, Ethics and the Church,” through the seminary, which covers topics such as “poverty, health care, crime, prison overpopulation, corporate responsibility, addiction, race relations, marriage, policies governing sexuality and gender, unwanted pregnancies, [and] refugees.” This development follows on the heals of a 2013 grant from the Kern Family Foundation which established an “Office of Work and Economics in the Wesleyan Tradition” at the seminary.

Indiana Wesleyan University strives to be a “multicultural institution” and a 
“diverse learning community reflecting the world in which we live” while serving the Wesleyan church’s “twenty-first century emphasis . . . on exalting Christ through worldwide missions, compassion ministries, and concern for social justice that reaches out to all people.” Through the office of “Intercultural Learning and Engagement” the school “offers scholarship opportunities for students of diverse intersectionalities who exhibit community leadership and willingness to engage in questions of cultural identity, equity, and justice.”

In July, Shenandoah University, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, hired “Hanaa Unus,” a Muslim, “to serve as chaplain and Muslim community coordinator.” The same month, Southern Wesleyan University sent seven religion students to Chicago and Milwaukee for ministry training where, instead of learning and applying gospel evangelism, they “had sessions . . . on incarnational theology, [and] systemic problems in urban areas.” Students learned that “being hospitable means you are leveling the playing field between yourself and others . . . equalizing the power dynamic.” 

In August, “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a measure declaring their entire denomination a ‘sanctuary church’ for migrants, including those who entered the United States illegally.” Chris Boerger, the ELCA’s secretary stated, “As a white church we say the right words. We, the majority population of this church, need to do more than talk.”

These websites and news stories only highlight the tip of the iceberg.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *