Slowly but surely the hard realities of economics are beginning to crowd evangelical colleges in the United States. Some educators—not, it might be added, of the alarmist type—think that in ten years half the presently existing evangelical campuses will be in a last-ditch stand for financial survival, and that some will close their doors even before then.
Economic crisis has engulfed many of the nation’s campuses; even Harvard, Stanford, and Michigan are among the 1,500 academic institutions that may soon be forced to cut back strategic services to three-fourths of the present American student enrollment. Costs are rising more swiftly than income; worse yet, the long-range purpose and future role of the colleges is somewhat obscure, and public confidence in higher education is wavering.
Evangelical colleges are not exempt from such pressures. While their deepest problems may not be financial, without necessary funds they face extinction. It may be true that there is no absolute biblical necessity for evangelical colleges, and that their justification lies in considerations of strategy more than of principle. Yet the present American academic milieu is such that the need for faith-affirming colleges is more obvious than ever.
At the same time, the need for state support of one kind or another for such evangelical schools in a day when government is funding virtually all competitive education is now increasingly acknowledged. Views about government aid are diverse and divided, although some evangelicals insist that having ardently opposed federal funding without success, they are not now called upon to deprive themselves of what is legally available. Evangelical educators are most favorable to the allocation of federal or state ...1
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