The public university at which I teach has an ethnically and religiously diverse student body. Accurate figures are hard to come by because the university doesn’t officially collect the data, but probably about half the undergraduates are Catholic, one-quarter Protestant, and perhaps 5 percent Muslim and 5 percent Jewish. This variety makes for interesting classes.
Within a single week this past fall I received requests that the seminary I serve staff a youth retreat for a congregation, send a speaker about starvation in Darfur to a conference in Washington, D.C., provide leadership to Presbyterian congregational leaders in a distant city, send curriculum for a seventh-grade class, offer training for Spanish-speaking and Latino lay leaders, open a D.Min.
Two American universities with no ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have plans to endow professorships in Mormon studies, making them the first secular schools to establish chairs in the academic study of Mormonism.
The programs, scholars say, could help push Mormonism and its academic study further into the mainstream.
United Methodist–related McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, has decided to discontinue calling its athletic teams “Indians” in keeping not only with the denomination’s two-year-old policy against using racially demeaning names and mascots but also with a National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibition of such team names and symbols in postseason tournament competition.
In a move that internal critics say will hurt academic standing, leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have voted to require all tenured faculty and board members at its educational institutions to be members of the denomination.
The decision was announced October 11 during an Annual Council meeting at Adventist world headquarters at Silver Spring, Maryland.
When Tim King organized a sleep-out in Chicago last year, 300 students from across the Midwest came to raise awareness of homelessness by gathering signatures for a petition, holding up signs and even “sleeping out” on the Magnificent Mile.
If you are about to spend $40,000 a year to send your offspring to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, you can rest assured that he or she will get the nation’s top-ranked overall academic experience for undergrads. The one thing the Reed student won’t get, however, is much time with God, at least according to the newest rankings from the Princeton Review.
Like any Catholic college, mine boasts an ethic of sexual abstinence for students, does not allow any form of birth control to be distributed on campus, and has same-sex residence halls that post visiting hours for members of the opposite sex. Yet most students will tell you, if asked in the right setting, that there is a gap between the ideal and the reality when it comes to sex.