Uneasy Partners: The College and the Church

Cuninggim, Merrimon. Uneasy Partners: The College and the Church. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.

The thesis of this book is premised on the notion that changing realities both for the church and American higher education require a reconceptualization of the relationship between churches and corresponding faith-based institutions. In order to provide a rich historical account, Cuninggim employs numerous detailed examples of various issues faced by several colleges over the last century.
<p>Merrimon Cuninggim outlines three historical periods for church-related colleges. He begins at the opening of the twentieth century when founding denominations tended to be the senior partner responsible for directing its affiliated collegiate institution. As the century progressed, the balance of power gradually shifted so that churches and colleges shared decision-making. But since the end of the 1960s, churches' role in shaping the direction of the colleges that they founded has diminished.
<p>After reviewing current literature on college-church relationships, Cuninggim then offers an alternative model for future cooperation. It stress four values that Cuninggim contends lie at the core of Chrisitanity and are essential to higher education. Those values are truth, freedom, justice, and kinship. Cuninggim suggests that it is time for church-related institutions to reassess their connections to their churches so that they can strengthen the bonds between them. By the same token, churches need to reassert themselves into the affairs of the colleges. (KH)