some scratch ‘n’ sniff form of the Christianrnfaith?'” But accreditation in Americarnis granted without reference to thernrehgious commitment of individual institutions.rnThe North Central Associationrnof Colleges and Schools, overseeingrnmore than 900 colleges and universitiesrnin 19 states, has no statement regardingrnan institution’s commitment to religiousrnvalues. The colleges themselves in associaHonrnhave developed the general criteriarnfor all schools. Individual colleges determinernwhat their mission is; the NCArnsimply asks, “Do you have a mission?rnAre your programs consistent with yourrnmission? Are you accomplishing yourrngoals effectively? Is your college financiallyrnviable so you can continue to providernqualit)’ educahon? Do enough facultyrnwork full-time for the college tornmeet the needs of your students? Do yournhave the library and other resources tornsupport your programs?”rnIs Mr. Wilson right that Christian collegesrnmust “remain bland enough not torncross accredifing agencies with anythingrnlike a distinctively Christian view of thernworld”? That accusation won’t standrnat accredited, vibrantly Christian collegesrnlike Tabor, Wheaton, SouthernrnNazarene, Dordt, Calvin, Northwestern,rnTaylor, Indiana Wesleyan, Malone, severalrnAssemblies of God colleges, andrnthe colleges of the Concordia Universityrnsystem.rnAre evangelical colleges “proudly partrnof the establishmenf ? Not according tornthe American Association of UniversityrnProfessors, which is horrified that wernwill release faculty who don’t adhere torndoctrinal standards. All of the Christianrncolleges that Wilson names are explicitlyrncommitted to hiring only believingrnfaculty.rnOne of Wilson’s sharpest statementsrnechoes ]esus’s challenge to the self-praisingrnPharisees.rnThe pecking order has been established,rnand those institutionsrnwhich are hungry for academic respectabilityrnmust respect the peckingrnorder. This means that collegesrnwhich want accreditationrnmust get their faculty from previouslyrnapproved institutions, andrnmust vow never to do anythingrnwhich seriously challenges the existingrnorder. Tliey determinernto be the very model of kennel-fedrnChrishanity.rnEven Mr. Wilson’s facult}’ at New St. Andrewsrnare university trained, so this isrnspecious. But maintain “the existing order”?rnEvangelical colleges often lead thernChurch and the professions. The firstrncollege I taught at has produced hundredsrnof pastors to challenge an almostrnmoribund denomination, and hundredsrnof missionaries who serve across thernworld, winning people to Christ andrnbuilding the national churches of thoserncountries. From that college have comernscores of evangelical Salvation Army officers,rnministering to the poor and offeringrnthem the message of Jesus. The educationrndepartment of that college, explicitrnin its Christian mission, was selected byrnthe state as a model for teacher trainingrnbecause of its professionalism. Recently,rnChristian colleges have been intenselyrninvolved in the racial reconciliationrnmovement, bringing the message ofrnChrist to one of the most divisive nationalrnissues.rnMr. Wilson concludes, “Our only realrnhope is that the parents currendy showingrnsuch zeal in the sound education ofrntheir younger children will not be toorntired, when the time comes, to turn theirrnattention to the establishment of smallrnbut genuine colleges.” I actually agreernwith this self-seeking statement because Irnbelieve evangelical Christian collegesrnare “small but genuine,” offering a qualityrneducation which establishes studentsrnin the faith.rnBut what will stiidents gain from Mr.rnWilson’s New St. Andrews College?rnThese “Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Artsrnand Culture” or “Bachelors of Arts withrnEmphasis in Christian Education” willrnknow languages, classical theology andrnphilosophy, and acquire a perspective onrnvar}-ing worldvievvs. They will knov’ nornhistory later than Jefferson’s correspondencernand the Federalist, no critiquernof modern culture or the political andrnsocial issues of the last hundred years.rnAsia? South America? Canada? Communismrnor Nazism? The missionaryrnmovement of the last 150 years?rnRacism? Invisible.rn— Richard]. SherryrnDean of Faculty Growth and AssessmentrnBethel CollegernSt. Paul, MMrnDr. Wilson Replies:rnDean Sherry has expressed his disagreementsrnhonestly and like a gentleman,rnstraight up the middle. I thank him for it.rnBut alas, there our agreement ends.rnFirst, it would seem to me that the factrnthat I made no mention of my associationrnwith New St. Andrews Collegernwould indicate tliat I was tn’ing to avoidrnthe appearance of being self-serving.rnHad the article ended with, “For morerninformation, please call the number inrnthe by-line,” the charge would perhapsrnhave some plausibility. But now that Irnhave been outed, I would argue that myrninvolvement witli a small college in thernclassical Protestant tradition appears tornshow me absolved of any taint ofrnhypocrisy: We do try to practice what Irnwas urging others to do in my article.rnAnd even now, under the most severernprovocations, I resist the temptation torninclude an address or phone number.rnWith regard to “raunchy requirements,”rnDean Sherr’ charges us with inconsistencyrnbecause of our use of portionsrnof the Decameron, the CanterburyrnTales, and other classic literature. He asserts,rnrather strangely, that we offer thesernworks without “guidance, instructionalrnsupport, or comment.” But in fact, this isrnnot the case, and in all our assignmentsrnwe are very mindful of the purit’ St. Paulrnhad in mind when he told us to “think onrnthese things.”rnFor the rest, while he is quite right inrnsaying that my charges were general, numerousrnobservers of evangelical collegesrnrecognize the accuracy of the portrait Irnpainted. As Dylan put it, you don’t needrnto be a weatherman to tell which way thernwind i.s blowing. But for those still desiringrnspecific evidence of my charge thatrnevangelical colleges reflect rather thanrnconfront the culture, they need look nornfurther than Dean Sherry’s comments.rnIn his response, we find “dead whiternmales” used as a pejorative phrase, “selectionrnby the state as a model” consideredrnto be a good thing and a sure markrnof crackerjack professionalism, and anrnimplicit charge of racism because he canrnfind no evidence that we have joined therncurrent secularist jihad against racism.rnFurther, he sees a distinctively Christianrnview of the world in the denominationalrnpandemonium represented by a long listrnof “vibrantly Christian colleges”—whenrnwhat we should actually see there is thernecclesiastical precursor to the pluralisticrnbedlam that afflicts our culhire now.rnFinally, I do admit that I am universit)-rntrained, but it is too late to do anythingrnabout it now.rnlANUARY 1999/5rnrnrn