Time discovers Christian colleges—at least one of them, anyway
Time has joined the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Atlantic Monthly, and a host of other news outlets in noticing the enrollment boom in Christian colleges. But rather than take the typical Time approach (23 reporters in 31 cities), the magazine decided to focus explicitly on one college: California's Azusa Pacific University.
And it truly is focused—so much so that when it refers to APU as "the U.S.'s second largest evangelical Christian college," there's no mention of what the largest is. Here's the summary paragraph:
APU is booming … and it is becoming a model for how a Christian college can reinvent itself in a modern age. The U.S.'s galloping evangelical movement is fueling part of this growth, but so is a population of young adults craving an active experience with God and spirituality. As it expands, APU is challenging the stereotypes of evangelical colleges as weak academically and ultraconservative socially. Can an institution that doubts Darwin and mandates chapel attendance provide an education the mainstream world respects? God willing, say students and faculty at APU.
The article, which characterizes APU as combining "a soft-touch Christian approach with a steadily improving academic program," should give a boost to the school, which has been undeservedly overlooked in most articles about Christian higher education. But one wonders whether such a strict focus didn't create some blind spots. For example, what's this about "how a Christian college can reinvent itself in a modern age"? For Azusa, that reinvention was former president Richard Felix's efforts to take the school from something that was "more like a revival tent than an institution ...1
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