Find the opposing argument here: http://www.acuoptimist.com/2012/12/professors-denominations-far-from-acus-ideals/.
ACU’s Church of Christ identity has been a significant influence on the university since it was founded in 1906. However, as times have changed, it seems beneficial for ACU to break from tradition slightly in order to accommodate non-Church of Christ faculty and staff members.
The first apparent benefit is that of diversity. From the professional standpoint, ACU has the potential of losing some respect in the academic world if it does not uphold a certain amount of diversity among faculty and staff members. Requiring new hires to be Church of Christ, a denomination that is sometimes lower in diversity, limits the potential for diversity in applicants.
Also, the Church of Christ requirement can hinder some high-quality faculty members from applying to teach at ACU. Though the quality of the current ACU faculty is great, other candidates that would make good additions may be overlooked simply because they might be a Baptist or non-denominational rather than Church of Christ. Situations where better-qualified candidates are turned down because they do not fulfill this requirement can take away opportunities for students to learn from many competent, talented professors across the nation who are not Church of Christ.
A professor of a different denomination would not lead to many palpable changes in a non-Bible classroom. How often do art or biology professors discuss denomination-specific theology?
Instead, if the university is given the ability to hire who is best for the job regardless of denomination, doors would be opened up for many faculty members who were previously ruled out to contribute to ACU.
Thirdly, ideas that are challenged are known to become stronger. When surrounded by like-minded people, it is easier for students to accept beliefs without questioning them for themselves. Students who are able to defend their beliefs have the opportunity to grow in faith. There are always going to be students that gain or lose faith in college. Students should be given the opportunity to be strengthened instead of sheltered.
Finally, if the university is intent on reflecting the ‘real’ world, it is important to expand the thoughts and beliefs that are present on campus. Currently, 45 percent of ACU students are Church of Christ and the outside environment does not mirror this ratio. Faith will be challenged in the real world and it is better to begin exposing students to new mindsets in an environment where they can be mentored by a variety of Christian denominational backgrounds.
Overall, allowing non-Church of Christ faculty and staff members will enhance, rather than inhibit, the ACU students’ Christian education.
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