Shorter University: A Faith Based School

There was a “Vent” in “The Atlanta Journal” recently that surely must have stirred controversy. It simply said, “Atheists do have churches. They are called colleges.”

First, a disclaimer. I don’t want to paint with a brush too broad. There are some very capable academicians who have strong personal faith and adhere to biblical ethics and morality. They are often lights shining in the darkness.

It would be difficult to develop a thesis that proves most colleges are in general not bastions of political, social, and spiritual liberalism.

Often a faculty member, shielded by tenure, goes extremely rogue. There are those professors who delight in trying to destroy the values with which students have been reared.

In general society has grown to expect and accept humanistic philosophy as the collegiate norm. If temporal schools, called “churches” in the “Vent,” are permitted to propagate their gospel why can’t faith based universities share their faith without castigation.

An action not intended to be an experiment proves a point. Shorter University in Rome issued a statement of faith and a code of conduct recently. Some honorable faculty members disapproved and would not subscribe to the policies. They exercised their liberty and left. I know most of them and personally hold them in high regard. Their integrity in standing for their convictions is to be admired. Likewise, the administration, trustees and constituents are to be respected and admired for standing for their convictions.

Shorter desired to provide a synergy of faith and learning.

SACS, the ultimate authority in college conduct, noted the school being an independent faith based school was within its rights in establishing the statement and code.

The departure of a significant number of faculty left a lot of vacancies. The question was would it be possible to find creditable scholars with prestigious degrees who subscribe to the standards of the school to replace them.

Surprise! For every vacancy there was an average of five applicants with terminal degrees from reputable academic institutions. Most of them had been teaching in Division I schools making much more money than a private school can pay. With regard to that, to the person, they said they were willing to teach for less money in a place where they can apply their faith in their academic field.

As illustration of the type faculty members being attracted two are noted. One is a PhD in bio-chemistry who has been working with the CDC for several years.

In conversation with another I mentioned I would love for a course on the Constitution to be taught. She replied, “I am a PhD from the University of Virginia and was a James Madison Fellow. I would love to teach it.”
The fact these came from secular universities indicates there are persons of faith who hold traditional values in such schools though they are not the norm.

Persons desiring a reputable degree offered in a school where faith and scholarship coalesce should consider Shorter University in Rome, Georgia.