Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Doug Reed

Second Advisor

Dr. Doug Sonheim

Third Advisor

Dr. Byron Eubanks

Abstract

With each new generation of students the Christian liberal arts university faces anew the question of how its faith tradition will influence its level of academic excellence. This question becomes increasingly challenging as society becomes more secularized. When the first ' universities were established in America, religion was considered the appropriate foundation of education. The work of George Marsden has shown, however, that by their very structure these universities would guarantee the eventual exclusion of religion altogether? Many in the church related university have similarly excluded religion from the academic environment. In the shadow of increasingly secular universities, the church-related university must establish its place as an institution which offers comparable levels of academic excellence while maintaining its own faith tradition. A Christian liberal arts university has the unique opportunity, if not responsibility, to offer its students not only the best education they can attain but also the ability to interact critically with both secular and faith-related ideas. This is the heart of how a university might integrate its faith with its learning.

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