The first major cooperative venture among evangelical colleges in the United States is about to begin. Articles of incorporation are to be filed next month for a consortium through which some of the nation’s best-known Christian schools will be sharing their academic resources.
Specific goals are still to be worked out, according to Donald M. Youngren of the Institute for Advanced Christian Studies (IACS), which has acted as a catalyst in the formative stages of the new enterprise. However, coordinated research programs probably will be a key feature. There may also be some interchange of faculty and students, and sponsorship of faculty symposia.
Nine colleges have been involved in the planning: Gordon, Eastern Mennonite, Messiah, Taylor, Bethel (St. Paul), Wheaton, Greenville, Seattle Pacific, and Westmont. Malone and Asbury may also be charter members.
Incorporation papers are being drafted by presidents Hudson Armerding of Wheaton, David McKenna of Seattle Pacific, and D. Ray Hostetter of Messiah.
The consortium idea was born in informal meetings of evangelical college presidents. At the most recent of these, held in Chicago March 16, the presidents agreed to proceed with the establishment of a new organization; a full-time executive director is soon to be employed. No name has yet been selected; the term consortium may be avoided. Membership will very likely be limited to regionally accredited four-year liberal-arts colleges with evangelical commitments. Each, besides meeting the other criteria, must pay a $1,500 fee.
Some evangelical educators have long felt that biblical Christianity in this age needs an academic power center if there is to be substantial impact upon culture. Dr. Carl F. H. Henry has championed the establishment ...1
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