Sunday, January 12, 2020


While serving with First Christian Church in Canton I was asked to teach a summer school course at Malone College (now University). Malone University is a "Christian" school associated with the Evangelical Friends (a version of the Quakers).

MU asked me to teach a course in Multiculturalism so I looked over the syllabus a previous instructor used then developed my own six-week course plan. The previous instructor used James Sire's book, "The Universe Next Door" as a core text. I boned up on the subjects and entered the classroom prepared. I expected Malone's status as a "Christian College" to promote a Christian world-view. Boy, was I wrong. Most of my students were teachers taking summer work to maintain their certification. They were a mix of racial, ethnic, and religious (or non-religious) backgrounds and projected a totally secular worldview. While I tried to avoid cramming a hard-nosed Christian worldview down their throats, I did present the material from a Christian perspective. Well, as you might expect, that was the first and last time I taught for Malone. I was not even permitted to view expected course evaluations. Nothing else was ever said to me about the course and I was simply never contacted again.

This did not come to me entirely unexpected. During my tenure at First Christian Church, the Adult Christian Education Department presented a Creation Seminar. I had hoped the science department at Malone would at least let students know of the seminar. Not one word was given to students despite publicity sent directly to the Malone science department. I did not expect Malone professors to agree with all aspects of the program, I hoped that since Malone professed its Christianity there would be a willingness to at least let students hear a variety of creationist view.

I have not done any research on this issue, but I expect many of our "so-called" Christian Colleges and Universities offer their academic from a Christian perspective. With the exception of a few weak Bible course, there's just not much there to promise a Christian worldview or Christian behavior.

Surely, you're thinking; this is true in these denominational "Christian" Colleges, but not in our Christian Church and Church of Christ Christian Colleges and Universities. As they say in France, au contraire mon frere!!!

When Alexander Campbell established Bethany College, he offered liberal arts but built each course and each department with a strong biblical emphasis. Yes, even science and math were taught with a biblical worldview.

I taught online for the Consortium of Christian Colleges for Online Eduation from 2001-2014. The Consortium ended in 2014. I taught Restoration History and History of Christianity in tandem with Dr. James North. During those years, the schools participating in the consortium maintained a strong biblical emphasis and worldview. Most emphasized preparing ministers and church leaders. I had students from Manhattan Christian College, Ozark Christian College, Cincinnati Christian University, Nebraska Christian College, Boise Bible College, Mid-Atlantic Christian University, Maritime Christian College, Johnson University, and possibly one or two others. One summer I taught both courses with 54 students enrolled. Some of these schools developed their on online programs. That fact contributed to the consortium's demise.

Another school identified with the Restoration Movement asked me to teach sections of World Civilization online. I found that a rewarding and challenging opportunity. However, after a few years teaching for them my relationship with the college came to a rather abrupt end. While I can't prove it, I think I know why.

Students for my World Civilization courses came from a variety of backgrounds and ethnic groups. They were located across America. When the subject of slavery in the United States came up in discussion groups, I interacted with the students. I pointed out that slavery, while sometimes vicious and awful, was the result of varying economic systems north and south. The northern manufacturing economy employed "free labor" but often mistreated, misused, and abused workers often creating indebtedness to company stores -- virtual slavery. Laborers on factory floors, sometimes as young as five, had no guarantee of medical treatment in case of injury and were usually fired if unable to work leaving them destitute. At the same time, with the importation of slaves illegal shortly after 1800 the cost of slaves went sky high. Plantation owners -- a plantation was defined in the south as a farm with at least 50 slaves -- often paid more for a healthy slave than a farmer would pay today for  an expensive combine or other piece of equipment. Many slave owners provided at least rudimentary medical treatment and food. Still being a slave meant no freedom of movement and the possibility of separation of families.

Several students undoubtedly reacted negatively to my accurate descriptions. Thus, I was not politically correct. Academic freedom meant little and neither did truth. I fear this is the sort of thing that happens on College campuses--even those associated with "our" movement.