A major secular educator, David Coleman, spent some time at Wheaton College, which taught him that Christian colleges have an important part to play in American higher education. Michael Gerson quotes him, after the jump.
From Michael Gerson, An appeal for ‘patient pluralism’ – The Washington Post:
The point, he told me, is not “merely their right to exist.” It is their “animating values that are precious to higher education, and inescapably so.” The first he describes as “productive solitude,” which is both characteristic of the spiritual life and “important for academic growth.” The second he calls the “reverent reading” of shared texts, which allows “different minds to act on the same problems.” Many modern academic settings, in his view, “now don’t share a single text” studied across disciplines. And this is a problem, because learning “relates to powerful, haunting language held in common.” The third comparative advantage of religious education, according to Coleman, is the determination to be a “safe haven for body and spirit.” Modern student life often involves “abuse of alcohol” and “premature, reckless sexual encounters.” Noting Dartmouth’s recent campus ban on hard liquor, Coleman offered: “Maybe it is time to construct stronger norms.”