I recently have had the opportunity to spend more time at the pool, this is not my usual, as I am typically in an office or take to the trail rather than to lounging poolside. But, I have been exploring the opportunity to have a naturally occurring tan – there have been very few times in my life where I could be considered tan(ish). As I relax and contemplate the best options for my life to take I have come to appreciate several finer qualities of life. One, the produce section at the local market: I picked up a watermelon the other day and with a bit of refrigeration it was great! Two, the balance of solitude and community – while my community in Oregon is probably on the lighter side I am enjoying not having obligation for a season. Three, the stream outside my balcony is teaming with life – it is amazing to see the little furry guys running and swimming around. Four, meeting new people, while I am slower to build community in Oregon, I have met some really cool people – and some interesting ones as well. Seasons and life circumstances aside, life can be amazing in its simplest form.
The proposed SB 1146 in California brings up an interesting discussion point: are we free to exclude? The proposal would ban California schools from requiring a statement of faith, prohibit exclusions and stop required chapel time, et cetera. As a Christian, I am concerned about the preservation of our religious freedoms, but I have always been warey of the role of Christian schools and universities as competitors to secular institutions. Many Christian universities and colleges openly advertise on billboards and promote the message that their school is for everyone, open learning environments and powerful skill building. The education world is hyper competitive and the marketing and financial controllers of each respective campus are likely to pull more and more weight for programming and possibly curriculum. The modern world is also creating an increasingly educated populous – which might create a more sophimorical society – because now everyone can be an intellectual for a few minutes – maybe even a celebrity via the right hashtag. The University of the future needs to be exclusive and have a well defined pedigree – that is respected and meaningful.
What does a Christian university need to look like to be exclusive?
Many Christian schools have an incredible pressure to be modern and relevant – but the value of a Christian education needs to be a fine balance of relevance and well schooled understanding of the Word of God – at minimum for a seminary degree. If SB 1146 is passed – I hope that it can play a defining role in separating Christian themed learning from an education founded on the principles of Christianity.