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Professors’ denominations: Far from ACU’s ideals

By Optimist Editorial Board
Posted on December 4, 2012 | Editorials,Opinion | 5 comments

Find the opposing argument here:

Many students, professors, alumni and staff of ACU have expressed concerns with a possible change in current hiring criteria. Their concerns are well founded. By hiring non-Church of Christ faculty and staff, ACU can expect negative effects as a result of the change.

Many parents send their children to ACU not only because it is affiliated with the Church of Christ, but because their sons and daughters will be surrounded by a 100 percent Church of Christ faculty that will reflect the same beliefs the family finds in their home congregation. By hiring from outside of the Church of Christ, many parents will see a university that has strayed from its upbringing and no longer reflects their denominational beliefs.

This change of perception could lead to a decline in enrollment that will negatively effect revenue and tuition prices on campus.

As it currently stands, ACU separates itself from many other Christian colleges throughout the nation. We remain one of the few colleges that requires its faculty to be Church of Christ. By shifting away from tradition, we would simply be removing one of the aspects that helps differentiate our university from others.

Pepperdine University remains the only Church of Christ university to remove this requirement and their Church of Christ student enrollment subsequently dipped 5 percent. This may seem a far cry from ACU’s current demographics, but this clearly reflects a possible future for our university.

Whenever a person or entity steps away from its founding morals to conform, there is one question that will always be raised: where does it end?

Even though this possible change represents only one small aspect of the university, we have seen many similar changes in recent years.

Through the end of a ban on dancing at school sanctioned events and a relaxation of curfew, ACU has been taking small steps away from the foundation the university was built on.

As we continue to see conformity slowly chip away at the founding ideals of our university, we have to wonder at what point we will decide it has to stop. In the future we could see a university that is Christian only in name.

As the university works towards a decision, it must be aware of the potential repercussions of such a change.

avatar Posted by Optimist Editorial Board on Dec 4th, 2012 and filed under Editorials, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.  - This post has been viewed 50181 times.

5 Responses for “Professors’ denominations: Far from ACU’s ideals”

  1. avatar MHacu86 says:

    I think that some faculty “work around” the coC requirement by placing membership but perhaps may not attend there often or believe things in contrast to what ACU stands for. So I agree that with bperkins that any change needs to be looked at carefully and prayerfully.

    I think that as a graduate, I would like to see faculty who believe and teach the inerrancy of the Holy Bible. Who believe and teach that Jesus is the way and the only way to eternal life; that He is the son of God and that He lived a sinless life and died in order that our sins may be forgiven. That is, His blood is the atoning sacrifice for our sin.

  2. avatar Kay See says:

    Reg Cox…having know your family for all these years, i can not beleive you just made the statements you did…

  3. avatar acuwildcats12 says:

    I’m also an ACU graduate and all for ACU opening up faculty church affiliation as long as It’s within the Stone-Campbell & Restoration movement and that new hired faculty believe that Baptism is for the remission of sins.

  4. avatar Regcox says:

    Refreshing…that would be my first thought should ACU open up faculty church affiliation.

    As a graduate of ACU and a current church of Christ preacher I think ACU and its students would greatly benefit from learning from a broader spectrum of Jesus worshipping Bible believing educators. The CofC isolationist mentality ACU currently employs handicaps graduates and their ability to own and express their faith in real life situations. Plus, a great number of ACU graduates who were raised CofC currently attend other kinds of solidly biblically based churches. Expanding the faculty would, I believe, demonstrate a greater commitment on the part of the university to a vastly more important founding principal, a conviction to be a University that equips students for Christian service leadership throughout the world. To imagine that the CofC is the only tradition that can support this mission is mysterious to me.

    The CofC is a shrinking constituency at best and our true allegiance is to Christ anyway! I, for one, would welcome any move like this as a sign my alma mater is taking serious its role as a premier institution for equipping a new generation with world changing faith.

    The CofC has to get over itself. It’s a brand of Christian faith and its role has been to identify a heritage of faithful believers. It does not own truth nor does it do all that well of a job of raising up offspring with a committed faith. The University does not have the luxury that its faith heritage does…it must equip solid world changers or lose its reason for existing! My vote would be to expand the faculty’s church affiliation to better accomplish this mission.

  5. avatar bperkins says:

    While any shift in hiring practices should be widely debated and taken very cautiously, many of the arguments against the change are false assumptions. The statement that, “…their sons and daughters will be surrounded by a 100 percent Church of Christ faculty that will reflect the same beliefs the family finds in their home congregation.” is laughable. Even within the Churches of Christ, huge differences in beliefs exist on matters ranging from drinking, to evolution, to the role of women, and even on instrumental music. To assume that 100% of the faculty would agree with the beliefs of large urban church or a small rural church flies in the face of common sense. Dig into the personal beliefs of many faculty and one would find agreement and disagreement with many “traditional beliefs” held by any number of Church of Christ members. What you do find, however, is a deep commitment to providing a high-quality education in an environment that is supportive, compassionate, and loving – the true qualities of Jesus.

    At a practical level, many faculty positions go unfilled because the Church of Christ requirement severely shrinks the applicant pool, resulting in reduced quality. Expectations for professional and personal conduct and a willingness to accept the history and traditions of ACU as part of the hiring process would expand the applicant pool, while preserving the environment potential students and their families expect from ACU.

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