Davidson College drops trustee church rule, but "Christian" commitment still stands
Rarely is the watering down of a college's religious commitments spelled out so clearly than in the revisions to the Davidson College Statement of Purpose and bylaws, approved last week by the board of trustees.

No longer does the North Carolina college seek "ties which bind the college to the Presbyterian Church." (Davidson has official ties to the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.) Now it's "ties that bind the college to its Presbyterian heritage." And where the school used to "intend that this vital relationship be continued to the mutual benefit of church and school," it now doesn't say that it wants to benefit the church.

Likewise, the new statement dropped the line that it's "a college whose tradition commits it to nurture the life of the spirit."

Fortunately, the trustees rejected the most astounding change proposed by ad hoc committee of its members. The proposal had "Davidson commits itself to a Christian tradition that recognizes God as the source of all truth" replaced with "The religious tradition that has shaped Davidson recognizes God as the source of all truth." The final version now says "The Christian tradition to which Davidson remains committed recognizes God as the source of all truth."

But thanks to changes to the school's bylaws, the trustees don't have to actually think that means anything. Gone is the rule that "persons elected as trustees have been active members of a Christian church." Now it's a bit more complicated:

Historically, persons elected as trustees have been active members of a Christian church. In openness to and respect for the world's various religious traditions and the variety of religious preferences among the ...
Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's executive editor. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
Previous Weblog Columns: