A while back, I wrote about the blossoming partnership between University of Phoenix Online and Lutheran High School of Orange County in an article titled University of Phoenix Expands into Religious Teaching. In that article, I noted that the University had sent out a solicitation message asking for instructors interested in getting involved with an online high school venture from LHSOC.
Today the proverbial other shoe dropped, with an email message sent out by the contact person at the University of Phoenix about the program. The letter starts out reasonably enough:
Thank you for your interest in teaching with Lutheran High School of Orange County. It is greatly appreciated. At this juncture, we would like to provide you with some additional details associated with becoming a faculty member in the delivery of online education to students at Lutheran High School of Orange County.
Please read everything very carefully. Because we received such a large response to our initial email, if you remain interested, you MUST resubmit your resume to
address masked . Please include your area of interest in the subject line of your email.
It’s what appears subsequent to this introduction that I found so surprising…
In order to facilitate courses for Orange Lutheran Online (OLO), the following requirements MUST be met:
• You must agree to the attached Statement of Faith.
• You must obtain a letter or recommendation from your pastor, minister, or spiritual advisor.
As you consider becoming involved in the faculty selection process for Orange Lutheran Online (OLO), affirmative responses to the following questions are considered essential:
• Are you a partner in the Gospel that connects with other’s hearts and heads, creates a community of support, can motivate the inner-life of others, and is disciplined in prayer and Biblical study?
• Are you a professional that is focused on raising student achievement, effectively communicating, effectively dealing with grievances, and honoring baseline contract agreements?
• Are you a passionate individual so that you can rekindle and create a vision of excellence, ignite a student’s passion for learning, and bring out the best in others?
Please take the time to read this note and the attached information carefully. Additional details regarding Orange Lutheran Online (OLO) will be forwarded to your attention in the near future. However, if you feel that the items shared above are not what you can commit to within a classroom setting; please let us know so that we may remove your name from our interest list.
Again, we sincerely appreciate your interest in further exploring this new teaching opportunity.
Here’s the Statement of Faith that potential instructors must agree to:
We believe that:
• The Bible is the true Word of God, without error or contradiction and, therefore, is the final authority in all matters of faith and life (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
• There is only one true God, who has revealed Himself in three persons (Triune), Father (Creator), Son (Redeemer), and Holy Spirit (Sanctifier) (Matthew 28:19).
• Since Adam�s Fall, all people are conceived and born sinful and are completely incapable of saving themselves by good living. (Psalm 51:5; Romans 3:10-12, 23).
• God, motivated by His unconditional love for us, provided for our salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
• Jesus Christ is true God, eternally begotten of the Father, and at the same time true man, born of the Virgin Mary, who lived a perfect life for us, died on the cross for us, rose from the dead for us, and now reigns at the right hand of Goad for us (John 1:1-3, 14; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Luke 1:26-38; Hebrews 4:15; Romans 5:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:12-24; Ephesians 1:20-23).
• We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone (Ephesians 2:10).
• Faith in Jesus Christ come by the power of the Holy Spirit as He works through the means of grace � His Word and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord�s Supper � through which the blessings and benefits of Jesus� saving death and resurrection, namely the forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation are offere3d, delivered, and applied to us. (John 6:63; Romans 10:17; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Matthew 28:19-20).
• Baptism, which is water applied in the Name of the Triune God according to Jesus� mandate and promise, works rebirth and renewal, delivers and applies the forgiveness of sins, joins the baptized to Jesus� death and resurrection, and grants salvation to all who believe the promise of salvation attached to Baptism (Matthew 28:19-20; John 3:5; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 5:25-26; Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:11-12; 1 Peter 3:21).
• Lord�s Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ given in, with, and under the bread and the wine, for Christians to eat and drink, instituted by Jesus Christ Himself, for the forgiveness of their sins (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
• Good works, prayer, and holiness of life are the fruit of faith in Christ, not the cause of faith or salvation (John 15:5; Hebrews 11:16).
• Christians are called to live for Jesus, seeking to serve and honor Him in all facets of life. Life cannot be divided into compartments where Jesus is not present, for He is the author and Lord of all of my life. To know Him is the only way to know what true life is all about, and serving Him is life�s greatest privilege (Colossians 2:6-7; Ephesians 5:1-8; Galatians 5:16-25).
I certainly don’t have any problem or concern with the Lutheran school professing their faith so strongly and passionately – that freedom is what makes America such a great country, in my opinion – but when a non-denominational institution like the University of Phoenix starts sending this out as a screening tool for teachers interested in an authorized University opportunity, alarm bells start ringing in my head.
The stated philosophy of the University: “The University educational philosophy and operational structure embody participative, collaborative, and applied problem solving strategies that are facilitated by a faculty whose advanced academic preparation and professional experience help integrate academic theory and current practical application.” Nothing about religious background or individual belief systems. Nothing about accepting the Gospel.
I’m trying to imagine if a school like Columbia, Purdue or even the University of California, Riverside would ever offer an opportunity to their faculty that involved such discriminatory selection criteria. I doubt it.
If UP were working with a women’s college, would they say “women instructors only”?
IF UP were partnering with a historically black college, would they post “no whites need apply”?
But isn’t this exact type of discrimination exactly what the University of Phoenix is doing through its partnership with Lutheran High?