What Can Christian Colleges Offer to Non-Christian Students?
The Christian College in a Post-Christian Society (Part 4)
Today I’d like to pick up my on-and-off series thinking through one way in which Christian colleges might want to adapt to life in an increasingly post-Christian society: by dropping the “faith screens” that have long limited traditional undergraduate enrollment to students who already profess Christian faith. I’ve already started to think through reasons why an institution like mine should consider that step, how it would change how we think of ourselves as “Christ-centered,” and one way it may change how we approach education.
But that leaves unaddressed a crucially important question:
Why would students of other or no faith want to enroll at a Christian college?
After all, aren’t there less expensive public options that don’t privilege Christianity in any way? Why would non-Christians want to join a community that centers Christ, or take required classes about the Bible, Christian theology, and church history? Or if students want a private education, aren’t there church-related colleges that already have religiously diverse students and employees?
Why do I think Bethel — which, in my imagining, would retain a Christian faculty and courses on Christianity in its curriculum — appeal to non-Christian students?1
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