Guest / Limited Access /

For decades, the Kentucky Baptist Convention had appointed the board of trustees of Georgetown College—all required to be Southern Baptist—and financially supported the small liberal arts school.

But that arrangement recently ceased as Georgetown decided to forgo convention funding, allow non-Baptists on its board, and expand its fundraising.

In November, the Kentucky convention voted to sever its remaining ties with the college, ending a scholarship program to attract students from the state's Baptist churches.

Its decision came after Georgetown moved away from a statement of specific Baptist identification to one "built on a Baptist foundation" in pursuit of a "knowledge of and commitment to the Christian faith."

But a major new study by the Council on Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) raises questions about what happens when schools with strong denominational ties loosen them.

The three-part study, published in the journal Christian Higher Education, surveyed thousands of faculty members and students at 79 evangelical schools.

According to the study, structural support for denominational identity persists in many evangelical colleges. Church bodies, for example, appoint some or all trustees at 87 percent of the institutions, and 59 percent require at least some faculty (particularly those who teach Bible or theology) to belong to the supporting denomination.

The study found "a general sense of goodwill" toward sponsoring denominations among students and faculty, even as denominational colleges draw fewer students (an average of 41%) from their own ranks.

But students repeatedly indicated a preference for a "more general or generic Christian ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedGordon College Studies Same-Sex Behavior Ban Amid Accreditation Questions
Gordon College Studies Same-Sex Behavior Ban Amid Accreditation Questions
School says "period of discernment" focused on pastoral response, not changing conduct policy.
TrendingMark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill
"I do not want to be the source of anything that might detract from our church’s mission."
Editor's PickMy Immigration Status: Beloved
My Immigration Status: Beloved
In Christ I am more than the ‘crime’ I committed at age 5.
Comments
Christianity Today
What Happens When Schools Cut Denominational Ties
hide thisJanuary/February January/February

In the Magazine

January/February 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.