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Editorial: Christian vs. post-Christian education

There likely is more ideological diversity at a Christian university than at an Ivy League school.
To some, that might sound preposterous. But it’s not a promotional statement from a Christian college spokesperson. It’s from a 2005 Christian Chronicle interview with Michael Medved, a media critic, graduate of Yale University and devout Jew.
In this edition, we celebrate the positive role that universities associated with Churches of Christ play in the spiritual development of thousands of students. See our Page 1 coverage of enrollment figures, our Currents section that highlights the value of chapel services and our Dialogue with Bruce McLarty, the new president of Harding University.
As the Western world becomes increasingly postmodern and “post-Christian,” and as higher learning reflects those beliefs, we believe the value of a Christian education has never been clearer.
Sometimes even people of faith view Christian education as a sheltered subset of true education. We believe that true education involves myriad viewpoints converging, exploring together mankind’s relationship to the divine — without discounting the reality of God’s kingship.
We don’t discount the fine education that many students receive at public universities. Last month, we reported on the reinvigorated efforts of a national campus ministry organization to reach the unsaved on America’s campuses.
Yet in our increasingly secularized society, we see a tremendous value — a need, even — for higher education that integrates faith and learning.
Christian universities allow an exploration of academic topics with a Christian faculty. Students enjoy a campus environment where Christian beliefs, virtues and values are proclaimed and promoted.
But — some protest — Christian education is expensive. We can’t deny that.
For many families, affordability is an issue. And so are rising levels of student debt. But we encourage families to research costs — and the value-added nature of a Christian education — before dismissing the possibility outright.
Some Christian universities have made strong efforts in recent years to stem rising price tags. A few institutions have frozen costs, while others have kept tuition increases to a bare minimum. We applaud these efforts and urge all Christian university leaders to make affordability a high priority.
We owe it to our children to give them the best opportunity to find God and establish a meaningful relationship with him. While this can happen in other contexts, the probability of success is higher in a faith-based environment — an environment such as a Christian university.

Filed under: Editorial Opinion

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