The senate of California Lutheran University’s student body government has officially proposed a change to the wording of its constitution in hopes of introducing more inclusive and encompassing language.
The senate of the Associated Students of Cal Lutheran (ASCLU) voted Monday to propose replacing "to further Christian growth" in the preamble to the constitution with "to inspire the maturity of faith and reason in an environment of Lutheran tradition,” ASCLU President Evan Clark informed The Christian Post on Tuesday.
Students will now need to approve the proposal by a two-thirds vote for it to be implemented, added Clark, an atheist who supported the effort to change the constitution.
Founded in 1959, Cal Lutheran is an independent institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Though the school began as a liberal arts college deeply rooted in the tradition of Lutheran higher education, its student body today is much more diverse.
Only 18 percent of CLU students reportedly identify themselves as Lutheran while more than a third don't claim to identify themselves with any religion. The highest percentage of students that associate with a particular faith, notably, are Catholic.
Prior to Monday’s vote, CLU President Chris Kimball told the local Ventura County Star that the proposed change would not have any impact on the university's identity or direction – even as early reports suggested a complete removal of Christian reference.
Originally, it was believed that the proposed change to the preamble would replace the phrase "to further Christian growth" with simply "to further faith and reason" or similar language.
Now, with the official proposal out, the student body of the Thousand Oaks, Calif., school is expected approve the change.
Presently, the school's mission already encourages "critical inquiry into matters of both faith and reason."
"As a university, our primary mission is expanding and deepening the mind in its pursuit of truth," the self-described Lutheran school states on its website.
According to the university, CLU students come from more than 20 countries and 30 different denominations and faith backgrounds.