The Corner

Education

Most ‘Christian’ Colleges Are That in Name Only — What To Do?

A large percentage of America’s private colleges and universities were founded on a religious basis and public colleges were at least tolerant of religion. Today, however, religion has been banished from the campus to a great extent. While leaders talk about their commitment to “inclusion,” religious students are ignored or even excluded.

In today’s Martin Center article, Professor Josh Bowman looks at this trend against religion and the modest counter-movement it has produced.

Bowman explains, “Religious perspectives, and especially the theologically orthodox, are not just marginalized through neglect, but berated as hateful micro-aggressions whose relegation to the “dustbin of history” is long overdue. As a result, the soul of secular higher education in the Western world is largely a void, manifested in the nihilism of many students and their painful struggles with addiction, depression, anxiety, and confusion.”

Entering that void are a number of independent Christian study centers. As Bowman writes, “Christian study centers, in most contemporary iterations, are independent non-profit organizations established near major secular universities in order to minister to the intellectual and spiritual needs of Christians and those on campus interested in exploring the faith. Their focus tends to be one of discipleship and lay education, with an emphasis on the Christian intellectual tradition that distinguishes them from more well-known campus ministries. Ideally, they own a space (such as a house or larger office space) where Christians can gather for intellectual conversations, lectures, and study.”

Wisely, these centers have remained completely independent of the colleges they serve. Any connection whatever would no doubt give the anti-religious crowd an opening to attack.

Bowman recognizes that independent Christian study centers aren’t a complete solution to the problem. “But this is no time for despair or retreat,” he writes. “Any faculty member who has taken the time to get to know their students has seen the deep spiritual and moral struggle they go through on a daily basis. They are desperate for hope, for meaning, truth, and the Gospel. Christian study centers are uniquely called and equipped to meet this pressing need.”

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More