Making Men Moral: What Is Union University?

Making Men Moral: What Is Union University? February 26, 2009

moral13In the course of live-blogging this conference, I have thought a few times that it might be helpful to clue readers in a little further to Union University.  Some readers, particularly those located in the North, may not have heard much about this school.  Let me say, very quickly, that I cannot count myself an impartial observer. 

I am highly impressed by this school and its leadership (I noted the excellent leadership of President David Dockery yesterday–I can’t find a Dockery bio on the Union website, regrettably, so I’m using one from the Southern Seminary archives site, a must-bookmark helmed by my buddy Jason Fowler).  The faculty includes a number of talented thinkers, including the aforementioned political theorist Micah Watson, systematician and historical theologian Greg Thornbury, New Testament scholar George Guthrie, and cultural theologian Harry Poe.

I personally know a number of Union grads who work in the upper echelons of our society, including some who run major governmental offices in Washington, DC (I worked for one as an intern, in fact).  I also went to seminary with and have gotten to know a number of exceptional future scholars and pastors, including such friends as Matt Crawford, Jacob Shatzer, Ben Dockery, and Nicholas Ellis.

Union is rapidly rising to the fore in the Christian educational scene.  It is my hope that the school will not confine its purview and influence to the Christian community alone, but will seek to touch on the broader academy as well in time.  This must be done carefully, and it must be done out of a deep grounding in Christian identity, but it seems to me that despite the failure of many schools to reach this aim, it may yet be grasped. 

My sister-in-law attends Union, to boot, and her presence at this school alone makes it a favorite of mine.  Most of the Southern Seminary faculty, in fact, seem to send their children to this school, which has made a remarkable recovery in the wake of a tornado attack.  With my comments stated, then, I give you some of the vital facts about Union from its website.  I do hope that this helps to acquaint you with this excellent institution, and I would encourage you as follows: keep your eye on Union.

Location: Jackson, Tennessee (area population: 100,000), 80 miles east of Memphis and 120 miles west of unionNashville. Forbes Magazine recently ranked Jackson as one of America’s top 150 cities for business and careers.

Student Body: About 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 40 states and 35 countries.

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1.

Percentage of Faculty with Highest Possible Degree in Field: 83%

Emphasis: A private, four-year, coeducational liberal arts-based university offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.

History: Founded in 1823, Union is the oldest institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and the 86th oldest college or university in the nation.

Technology: Each residence apartment is equipped with Internet and cable. In addition, wireless network access is available in residence commons areas, as well as in each academic building and the Student Union Building. Students are provided with filtered Internet access, a Union email account, and private file storage space as part of the Union network.

Activities: More than 50 major student-produced music and theatre events each academic year; 70 campus clubs, societies, fraternities, sororities  and other organizations; Cardinal & Cream student newspaper and The Torch, a literary journal.

Campus: Union University’s main campus in Jackson and its extension campuses in Germantown and Hendersonville cover 360 acres. Major academic facilities include the 225,000 square-foot Penick Academic Complex; the 30,000 square-foot Blasingame Academic Complex; White Hall, a 65,000 square-foot science building; Jennings Hall a three-story academic building with a recital hall and television studio; Barefoot Student Union Building and Grant Events Center, which includes banquet and meeting facilities; and Hammons Hall, a two-story classroom and office building that also houses a LifeWay Christian bookstore. All residence halls include a private bedroom for each student.

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