Friday, July 28, 2006

The Battle for Baptist Colleges

A plethora of Southern Baptist-affiliated colleges are scattered across the Southeast and South Central states. Conservative Southern Baptists readily admit that these colleges are a morass of modernist theology and liberal social activism.

All but three of these colleges are funded by state conventions, not the national convention. The three that are funded by the SBC's cooperative program are those that operate under the auspices of Southern, Southeastern, and Southwestern seminaries. Those three are also thoroughly conservative theologically.

All that to say this: The battle that is taking place for the soul of the vast majority of these colleges has been taking place at the state convention level. Most of those battles have been lost, and state conventions are steadily severing ties with more and more of these colleges.

The New York Times published a story (free registration required) on one of these battles last week. Terry Mattingly's analysis of this story is worth reading, particularly for his extensive links to other vignettes in the broader story.

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