Christian Colleges

From: Donald Sprowl <>
Date: Thu Jun 16 2005 - 10:47:30 EDT

     The mention that there are four Christian colleges in one
medium-sized Midwest city causes me to ponder again the long list of
"famous" evangelicals who have seen the need to found their own
colleges over the past few decades. A hundred and more years ago there
were logistical reasons for denominations to found multiple, regional
institutions, but such can hardly be a compelling consideration today.
Rather, it seems that the evangelical church is distrusting not only of
secular institutions of higher learning but of our own institutions as
well. There are many reasons why an evangelical leader of means might
venture to found a new college (self-worship, for example), but for so
many to do so in recent years must suggest a deeper root. If I have
several tens-of-millions of dollars to give to Christian higher
education, is it really more efficient to start a new school rather
than lend financial support to existing institutions? Only if I
believe that none of our present institutions is "getting it right";
that Wheaton and Calvin and SPU and Gordon and Westmont and Biola and
the other 100 institutions of the CCCU and the hundreds of other
denominational schools are missing the mark, and so hopelessly that a
fresh start is the only recourse.
     I suspect that the evangelical church retains a fear of higher
education inherited from the fundamentalist days of the 1920's. We
fear that learning (and thinking), unless carefully controlled,
endangers faith. We want "safe" schools where only the truth will be
taught and where our children will be protected and nurtured and
equipped to make a living. Our present schools have missed this mark,
so we will found a new school that will finally get it right. The rub
comes when we try to field a faculty for this new school, because a
quality college faculty has a higher vision for the purpose and methods
of education.
     30 years after my first exposure to Christian higher education, I
am convinced that our flagship Christian colleges are not missing the
mark. Again and again I see our professors engaged in honest wrestling
with the issues of the day as they simultaneously seek to comprehend
the truth and bring every thought captive to Christ. They enrich a
suspicious church by inculcating in the next generation of Christian
scholars a spirit of fearless and honest engagement with the world.
     The ASA fits in here, too. In a variety of ways, the ASA is called
to minister to the Body of Christ in this matter of honest engagement
of vital issues relating to faith and science. We stand against those
who would displace the Christian faith with a "scientific" materialism.
  We urge the Church to take its head out of the sand and embrace
careful and honest deliberation of all of the thoughts of man. Another
vital ministry struck me at last year's annual meeting - we need to be
a refuge and hospital for colleagues who have been wounded by
friendly-fire in their home churches, accused of various sins,
including apostasy, because they are willing to be honest with the
issues of the day. For my small part, let me say thanks to the many of
you who have been so faithful for so long. Know that there is at least
one who appreciates all you do.

Don Sprowl
Professor of Physics and Earth Science
Louisiana College
Pineville, LA 71359

On Jun 16, 2005, at 7:54 AM, wrote:

> This is truly sad. Basing PIU in my hometown of Springfield leads me
> to believe it is targeting drop-outs from the four Christian colleges
> located in Springfield (CBC, BBC, Evangel, and SBU), although being
> remote, it is targeting anyone. The accreditation page is more than a
> borders on fraud. Baugh and crew need to be up front with
> the facts and implications. But hey...he has already proven his
> master-of-deception abilities with his books, so why not extend that
> to create a pseudo college.
Received on Thu Jun 16 10:50:46 2005

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