Russian-American Christian University (RACU), Russia's first bona fide Christian liberal arts university, will begin a full-time bachelor's degree program in September. RACU, based in Moscow, plans to launch undergraduate programs in business, economics, and social work, as well as a yearlong English-language institute.

According to RACU president John Bernbaum, the concept of a private Christian liberal arts university never existed in the country--until now. Previously, the secular educational system has produced specialists primarily to meet economic needs.

"Russia wants new educational models," Bernbaum says. Christian liberal arts at racu will include a broad curriculum, plus marketable skills and Christian values, designed to make graduates better citizens. Fifty students are expected in the fall, with an additional 50 students in following years.

Alexander Abramov, president of the Moscow Institute for Development of Educational Systems, says he believes that Christian values are the key to Russia's future because the country's troubles are moral rather than political or economic.

"I myself am not a Christian, but I understand the values and believe in the principles," Abramov says. He admits that the nation's volatile political and social climate makes developing the university difficult. And no one can predict what will happen after next month's presidential elections. "But I think it is important to develop this idea."

The principal facilities of the school will be leased from Russian Peoples' Friendship University, which in the past served as the primary training ground for Marxism. Construction of a new headquarters building with two classrooms, two offices, a computer lab, library, and cafeteria will be finished ...

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