With every passing year mounting inflationary pressures place more and more of America’s church-related colleges on the defensive for financial survival. By 1970, some educators predict, 400 private colleges and universities in the U.S.—one out of every five of the nation’s schools of higher education—will close their doors. The implications for Christian colleges are ominous: some will close their doors, others will dangle at the brink of insolvency, still others will manage survival only by widening their secular appeal and support. Because many church-related institutions can no longer be identified properly as Protestant colleges (some Christian educators see no great loss to the Church if these were closed), and since more schools of learning may likewise drift from church support and orientation, the Christian stake in American higher education is being widely discussed.

The federal government’s increasing intrusion into public and private education is being welcomed by many educators who find not only assurance of survival in government loans and grants, but also new opportunities to enlarge their campus empires. The first step toward federal funds for higher education came during the Eisenhower administration when Dr. Arthur S. Flemming, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, spun out a program which was adopted by the Republican party and endorsed by Vice-president Nixon in his presidential campaign. A Methodist layman long active in the National Council of Churches, Flemming debated the program privately with Methodist and other educators, and decided that federal funds for higher education involve no legal constitutional problems unless such funds are used to meet current operating expenses, including faculty ...

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

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

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.