The future of private and church-related colleges is a matter of serious and ever-growing debate. For some observers the mounting competition of public education and the inroads of government spell inevitable disaster to the philosophy and hence the existence of these often small and struggling schools. Others are more optimistic; they refuse to surrender the sustaining factors of dedication to mission and reliance upon Providence. In either case, no one doubts the need for constant self-evaluation, and for courage to make those administrative and curricular changes demanded by the peculiar nature and requirements of the present age.

Ten-year studies done with the assistance of the Ford Fund for the Advancement of Education under the leadership of Sidney Tickton have enabled many small Christian colleges to make important assessments of their programs. Many have been encouraged to put their futures under rational control as effectively as does a modern business corporation, while still utilizing the asset of a mighty faith in God. Such evangelical educators are the people who know and operate upon the corrective principle that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Other studies have been undertaken by Christian colleges which indicate the need to change to a twelve-month year and to shift the curricular emphasis from the lecture to learning. Such colleges will not need to use the obituary notices already prepared for them by some pessimists.

Evangelical colleges must deal realistically with three factors, for these are their dimensions of operation:

1. Their raison d’être depends upon the place they give to the Bible with its redemptive message and timeless meaning for human existence. Proper ...

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