Christian colleges founded with offering plate money have shown a disturbing ability to drift away from the purposes for which so many had previously sacrificed.
Aren’t administrators that lead a Christian institution away from Kingdom purposes guilty of grand larceny? When schools lose their Christ-centered purposes, we should be indignant. Aren’t you?
There are some things we can do to keep our colleges spiritually accountable and to make mission drift less likely to occur after we retire.
Just as colleges are required to make public their consumer outcomes (e.g., graduation rate, retention rate, employment rate), we believe Christian colleges should also make public their spiritual outcomes.
So far, we have proposed to both TRACS and the ABHE that they put this in their standards. The director of the ABHE Commission on Accreditation was quite enthusiastic about the proposal. In fact, this February the ABHE will be voting to revise their standards so that assessment plans will be required to measure achievement and/or effectiveness in ten areas. One of those specifically-listed areas is the spiritual formation of students. We are thrilled. The president of TRACS has agreed to take our proposal to their Standards Review Committee. We are waiting to see the outcome.
Do you agree that God would want Christian colleges to be making public their spiritual outcomes? If so, there are two things you can do. First, promote this proposal.
Forward this article to your colleagues. Promote this idea at your annual accrediting agency meeting. Vote “yes” when you see it put forward. And second, join me in another phase of this project.
We are offering $500 grants to doctoral students who will research topics such as:
- What spiritual outcomes would prospective students and parents want to see when choosing a Christian school?
- If some schools were making public their spiritual outcomes, how would this impact Christian schools that were not making these outcomes public? Would prospects be less likely to consider the schools that were not making spiritual outcomes public?
- What is important to assess? What factors are good indicators of improved spiritual formation?
Do you share our concerns about mission drift? Would you help by making a tax-deductible donation to that project? If so, click here.
To request the grant application for graduate students to study questions related to the Spiritually Accountable College Assessment Project, email [email protected].
How does one measure a spiritual outcome? Are we now equating secular standards and secular means of evaluation with spiritual gifts or spiritual outcomes (whatever that means)? How do we evaluate and measure love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? It seems to me what we are talking about is more akin to religious rules and regulations we are trying to measure, not spiritual outcomes.