Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies of Success in the Twenty-First Century

Hughes, Richard T. and William B. Adrian, eds. Models for Christian Higher Education: Strategies of Success in the Twenty-First Century. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.

This collection of twenty-two essays describes the integration of Christian faith and learning on various church-related college campuses. Seven ecclesiastical traditions are studied in detail, including (1) Roman Catholic, (2) Lutheran, (3) Reformed, (4) Mennonite, (5) Evangelical/Interdenominational, (6) Wesleyan/Holiness, and (7) Baptist and Restorationist.
<p>Hughes first discusses the tension between first-rate academic programs and the faith commitments in American church-related colleges and universities. Sections on each ecclesiastical tradition follow with an essay on what that particular tradition has to offer higher education and then two case studies of different campuses representing the tradition's approach. The institutions included as case studies in this volume are the (1) College of Saint Benedict, (2) Saint John's University, (3) University of Portland, (4) St. Olaf College, (5) California Lutheran University, (6) Calvin College, (7) Whitworth College, (8) Goshen College, (9) Fresno Pacific College, (10) Wheaton College, (11) Seattle Pacific College, (12) Messiah College, (13) Point Loma Nazarene College, (14) Samford University, and (15) Pepperdine University.
<p>Adrian and Hughes end the volume with an essay drawing together some of the broad, historical similarities between many of these institutions. At some time in their history, each has given up their faith commitments, broadened their scope and vision, become more flexible about the religious activities that students are required to attend, expanded their curriculum, and engaged in a drive for excellence that sometimes came at the expense of religious character. These schools now attract a broader mix of students and are affected by the present consumer-driven market. These schools differ in the degree to which they engage the modern, pluralistic society and consider themselves on the "slippery slope toward secularization." Adrian concludes by noting the importance of leadership in maintaining the religious distinctiveness of church-related colleges and universities. (LT)