Religious Colleges Fear Mainstream Higher Education is Becoming More Hostile Towards Faith

In this Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011, photo, a bible sits on the desk of Bradley Sabin, a junior, as she takes notes during Bible class at Woodland High School in Cartersville, Ga. Georgia was the first state in the country to allow Bible classes in public schools, but the number of districts offering the classes have dwindled to just a handful as budgets remain tight. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Religious colleges are attempting to “re-write” the narrative that exists today about faith in education before societal hostility mobilizes to one day push faith-based institutions out of the “mainstream” of higher education.

Presidents from colleges representing traditions of Protestant Christianity, Islam, Catholicism, Judaism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered last week to discuss the challenges they face as secular society continues to grow more hostile to principles of “Abrahamic morality.”

Just days after the media hysteria surrounding second lady Karen Pence’s job as an art teacher at a Christian private school in Virginia that adheres to biblical doctrine, presidents from the five religious colleges participated in a discussion just a few miles down the road in Washington, D.C., about the misunderstandings people have about faith in higher education.

The discussion capped off the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ Presidents Conference that took place at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill. CCCU is a network of over 180 Christian colleges worldwide.

“Today’s discussion invites us to reimagine this narrative that [characterizes] so much of the modern period and to rewrite this story going forward, to rewrite this story that persists so much in the world of higher education,” Shirley Mullen, the president of Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts school in Western New York, said during the panel.

“This standard western narrative of progress has assumed that deeply-held religious beliefs, especially when there is diversity in those beliefs, result in intolerance, conflict, violence, oppression.”

Mullen, who serves as vice chair of CCCU’s board of directors, contended that a “new narrative” must be crafted regarding the relationship between religion, society, higher education and human flourishing.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith