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US faith-based campuses feel a political moment

US faith-based campuses feel a political moment

Times Higher Education

June 5, 2024
Paul Basken
Religiously affiliated US colleges and universities are making a united push for attention as both a haven and a solution at a moment of mounting political, economic and demographic stresses across higher education.
The sector is being boosted in the effort by US higher education’s main lobby group, the American Council on Education, which is arguing that religious campuses provide students with a unique sense of belonging.
“For the rest of us, we need to learn from that,” the council’s president, Ted Mitchell, said in convening the inaugural gathering in Washington of a new ACE Commission on Faith-based Colleges and Universities.
The presidents of several religiously focused universities eagerly embraced the attention, wishing openly that US students and other Americans – especially after the recent run of student anti-war protests – may now be viewing their models as a needed alternative in the post-secondary world.
“Let’s be confident and optimistic,” Shirley Hoogstra, president of the 180-institution Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, told the commission’s opening, “that we are in the right business at the right time.”
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