Is the University Hostile to Christian Professors?

From Al Mohler and

“The university was the child of the church. The classic ideal of the university emerged from the context of medieval Christianity and the confidence that all truth and every discipline of learning is, in the end, united in Christ — the wisdom of God.

Fast forward a few centuries and the picture is very different. The modern university has taken on a cultural importance that dwarfs that of the medievals. And these hugely influential institutions are now, in the main, thoroughly secularized.

This does not mean that no Christians are to be found there. It does mean that the culture and worldview of the institutions are thoroughly secular.

Historian George Marsden explains that with the rise of the modern university ideal came a tide that ran against the Christian foundations of the established academic culture. A generation of reformers pushed for the secularization of the colleges and universities as a means of freeing the schools from ecclesiastical control.

“To reformers it seemed that colleges had to be freed from clerical control, and hence usually from traditional Christianity, in order to achieve something that we now take for granted — the emergence of higher education as a separate profession, distinct from the clergy,” he explains.

By the end of the twentieth century, the process of secularization was virtually complete. As Marsden notes, “today Christianity has only a vestigial voice at the periphery of these vast culture-shaping institutions.”

A recent news article in The Chronicle of Higher Education raises many of these same issues.  Reporter Thomas Bartlett set the story this way:

He thought he had a good chance. Last year Mike S. Adams, an associate professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, applied for a promotion to full professor. He had been at the university for 13 years. In that time, he had published 10 peer-reviewed papers and won three teaching awards. Not that there weren’t bumps along the way, but his record, he believed, was better than most.

So when he was turned down, Mr. Adams started asking questions. The official word was that he hadn’t measured up in any of the three crucial categories — teaching, publishing, or service. He didn’t believe that for a minute. The real reason he wasn’t promoted, according to Mr. Adams, is that he’s a Christian.

The remainder of the article is a consideration of this question — are Christians the targets of discrimination in the university culture.  The article presented arguments on both sides, and then turned to the question of whether the real discrimination might not be religious, but political.

Of course, a clear separation of these issues is not possible. 

It can be difficult to untangle political and religious views. “A person’s stand on a controversial topic — abortion, say, or gay marriage — may very well have roots in his or her faith. Where does politics begin and religion end?,” Bartlett asks.”

To read more click here.


One Response to Is the University Hostile to Christian Professors?

  1. Shirley says:

    I continue to hear such reports. It saddens me.

    Shirley Buxton

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