An Unexpected Sequel: A Renaissance of Christian Academia
In the mid-twentieth century leading scholars such as Reinhold Niebuhr or David Riesman wrote off conservative evangelical education as fading. William McLoughlin also saw the new revival movements as ephemeral. Billy Graham and Carl Henry had ambitions to start a major university around 1960 but did not have the resources. Wheaton College in Illinois, the leading ex-fundamentalist college, began to rise academically despite the anti-intellectualism of its tradition. Calvin College had been an ideologically isolated Reformed school but by the 1960s had produced leading Christian philosophers. Intervarsity Christian Fellowship helped raise consciousness regarding strong scholarship, and by 2000 the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities had grown to over one hundred schools with well-trained faculties. Like-minded Christian scholars founded their own academic societies. Baylor University became an intentionally Christian research university. Evangelical Protestant and Catholic scholars often cooperated. Despite many challenges, distinctly Christian scholars could hold their own in twenty-first-century academia.
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