Image: Understanding our Sexual Identity

At Portland Bible College, we study the Bible. The eternal, never-changing Word of God. So it would be easy to think that our curriculum hasn’t changed and our classes look the same as they did back when we started in 1967.

While the Bible itself doesn’t change, the culture in which we live sure does! What our students are facing today, the students of 50 years ago would have never been able to imagine. What we teach about the Bible stays the same, but every progressive generation needs to wrestle with how to apply biblical truths in their current context.

About a year ago, professor Lanny Hubbard took a poll in one of his classes. His poll included one question which read,

What do you think is the largest or most significant social problem
faced by young adults at this time?

The answers were varied but there was a commonly recurring theme: sexual identity. You see, the first word of our name is Portland because that is the city where we are located. And Portland has been a leader in the LGBTQ+ movement, tracing their roots all the way back to the native inhabitants and their Two-Spirit Collective. Confusion about sexual identity is not something our students merely read about, it is something that they are confronted with every single day as they make their way through the community that surrounds them.

In discussing it as a class, they found that while many believed it to be the most significant social issue of their generation, a good percentage of the students did not know enough about the topic to allow them to discuss it in an informed manner. Instead of telling them what to think, professor Hubbard set them to a research project to investigate the issue and discover their own opinions on the topic.

As a class, they spent a day brainstorming the issue to determine what areas they felt the least qualified to talk about. They listed out several aspects of the topic that they felt should be investigated. The students then divided into study teams based on which aspects were of most interest to them. Once the different teams were formed, captains were assigned to each team to oversee the students’ research and to help finalize the finished product.

That one simple question started a discussion. The discussion uncovered a blindspot in the students’ lives. So, like the Bereans of Acts 17, they turned to the Scriptures and research to seek out the truth of the matter. They researched the topic and compiled their findings into a booklet that they titled “Image.”

“Image” is solely a product of the student’s work. They designed it, wrote it, and laid it out. Since the topic is one that affects their generation profoundly, it turned into a great learning exercise to discover, for themselves, what they believe about the topic.

Now, we would like to make their booklet available to you. Read it and enjoy it as a gift from the young adults of Portland Bible College about an issue that is tearing their generation apart. You can click on the link below to download the .pdf version of “Image.”