Christian universities are a sizable business in the United States — the National Center for Education Statistics counts nearly 600 Christian colleges and universities nationally. Title IX makes it illegal for schools to discriminate on the basis of sex, but private universities can apply for an exemption from parts of the law they claim conflict with their religious beliefs. And while many schools seek religious exemptions from nondiscrimination, particularly on beliefs around LGBTQ individuals, entrenched beliefs at many institutions regarding female leadership continue to affect their students.
The position for which Betsy DeVos has been nominated — secretary of education — is one of the least powerful in the Cabinet, in terms of its budget and position in the line of succession to the presidency.
And yet, after a confirmation hearing in which she struggled to answer questions, some Senate offices have received more calls opposing DeVos than any other nominee.
All 48 Democratic senators and two Republicans — Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins – opposed her when her nomination came to a vote on Feb. 7. Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.
"While many of us were inspired by our time at Calvin College to make education a professional commitment, Mrs. DeVos was not. She has never worked in any educational institution as an administrator, nor as an educator. If the position of the Secretary of Education requires the individual to have an intimate knowledge of the tools used by educators, which we believe it does, Mrs. DeVos does not qualify."
"Your organization claims to recognize 'the right for professors to say whatever they wish.' Professors like Joe Kuilema don’t say whatever they wish. Instead, we say what we know, based on careful research, the accumulated work of other scholars, and our own direct experience outside the classroom."
If it is “leftist propaganda” to talk about the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the immigrant, to talk about justice and love for God and neighbor, to talk about humility and grace — in short, to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ, then let us do it all the louder. Otherwise, we trade the truth for power. We trade our witness for the respect of the empire.
On Monday, Sept. 12, Rev. Dr. Jim Wallis opened Calvin’s Center for Faith & Writing fall 2016 series with a speech about his new book, “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.” The bestselling author, activist, preacher and theologian drew a large crowd to the CFAC. All seats were full, and some visitors had to park in overflow lots near the Seminary and science building.
Unfortunately, sexual violence on college campuses is a widespread reality. As many as 20-25 percent of women will face attempted or completed assault over the course of their college tenure. Contrary to popular myths about “stranger-danger,” 9-in-10 of those victims will know their attacker.
While perusing everything from Amish fiction to Zondervan's latest publications at the Calvin College Festival of Faith and Writing this past April, I discovered what we here at Sojourners affectionately call the "Christian Literary Underground" -- a small group of literary magazines and independent book publishers that have "staked a cl