While the previous posts have been discussing higher education in general and considering possible Christian responses, this post will focus on Christian Colleges and Universities. First, I want to acknowledge that these institutions are endeavoring to do a great thing in providing a solid, biblically based education. But that does not mean that they are doing it well, or even properly. The question needs to be asked: Are Christian higher education institutions remaining faithful to Jesus?
A few months ago, Christianity Today devoted an entire issue to the topic of Christian Higher Education, titling it How to Save the Christian College. It contained many helpful articles for anyone interested or involved in the development and maintenance of higher education institutions. It was also informative and thought provoking for anyone who’s been considering whether they should even go to college, and especially a Christian College.
The cover story, written by Perry L. Glanzer and titled The Missing Factor in Higher Education, claims that the missing factor is character development. The historic universities gave up their quest for truth and the moral/ethical/spiritual formation of students in favor of creating information specialists. Students no longer go to college to get a well-rounded education to benefit them in all aspects of their life. They go to learn the necessary information to succeed in a particular career. But he believes there is still hope for Christian Higher Education as it looks to its roots and renews interest and focus on cultivating wisdom and character in students.
As great as many Christian colleges are at providing good character forming education, we must also examine the structures and methods by which that education is being delivered. Is it God honoring to create an institution that is built on the backs of people going into tens of thousands of dollars in debt? Is this something that is carefully considered and concluded that it is God pleasing? Or, is such a model simply acquiescing to the world’s approach to what education is? What do you think? Does the end justify the means?