Christian College Coalition President John Dellenback will step down this year after a decade at the helm of that evangelical higher education association. In addition to his work with the coalition, Dellenback has served in a number of capacities, including four terms as congressman from Oregon, director of the U.S. Peace Corps, and member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on South Africa. He was recently elected chairman of the board of World Vision U.S. CHRISTIANITY TODAY asked Dellenback to reflect on his time at the coalition.

What have been some of the most meaningful aspects of your time at the coalition?

The thing that immediately jumps to my mind is the membership. Out of the 77 colleges and universities that are part of this team effort, we have 28 different denominations represented, and we have another 10 or 11 schools that are interdenominational or nondenominational. To me, that says that within the evangelical world we do not have to split off and build walls that separate us from each other. We can get a broad group of widespread representation working together; and when we come together, we deal with what ties us together—Christ—and not the things that could be used to separate us.

What coalition accomplishments are you most pleased with?

Most of the people who teach in Christian colleges got their master’s degrees and doctorates at secular schools. They enter the classroom—where they are using basically secular textbooks—and are told: “Now be sure, when you teach the subject, you include the relevance of Christ.” But no one has trained them for this, and they have very little in the way of literature that helps them do it. So a major ...

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