AU marks Christian Higher Education Month

Wed, 2012-07-25 10:39 -- univcomm
October 2003 marks Christian Higher Education Month. The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) first designated the month in 1999 to celebrate the impact Christian campuses are having on their students and on society. Many CCCU alumni continue with graduate work at schools such as Rutgers, Yale, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Drew and Cornell. Their education and strong commitment to values help them make significant contributions as leaders in government, medicine, media, law, art, music, engineering and more.

“We are grateful to have a prominent place among the outstanding faith-based colleges and universities of this country. Anderson University graduates tell us we are doing a good job of preparing them as they compete professionally or academically,” said Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University. “I often ask our graduates in various graduate schools around the country, ‘How are you doing? Did we prepare you well for your next challenge?’ And I often hear, ‘I've been well prepared.’ Of course, the lives of service across the years tell the success story of the Christian college mission.”

The U.S. Department of Education reports an increase in enrollment trends across the country among public and private institutions of higher education. Most notably, enrollment growth among Christian colleges far outpaced other institutions during the reporting period (1990-1999). While national comparison data is only available through 1999, the CCCU is able to report its enrollment in fall 2002 of 215,593 students. This record number of students in 2002 show that enrollment skyrocketed with a 60% increase from 1990 to 2002. Further research shows a higher percentage of student retention with 73.5% of CCCU freshmen returning for their sophomore year in 2001, compared to 71.7% at other similar colleges nationally.

"We established Christian Higher Education Month to raise awareness of and increase recognition for the vital role that Christian higher education plays in the process of transforming culture," said CCCU President Dr. Robert Andringa. "It's time to highlight the contribution our member campuses are making in the world around us."

According to the U.S. Department of Education, there is about 4,200 degree-granting institutions of higher education in the United States alone. Approximately 1,600 of those are private, nonprofit campuses and about 900 of these colleges are self-defined as “religiously affiliated.” However, only 104 intentionally Christ-centered institutions in the U.S. have qualified for membership in the Council for Christian College & Universities (CCCU).

Founded in 1976, the CCCU has grown into an international association of Christ-centered colleges and universities. The Council has 107 members in North America (104 U.S. and 3 Canadian campuses) as well as 62 affiliates in 24 countries. Members are fully accredited, four-year comprehensive institutions with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. CCCU campuses are intentional about helping students understand the world from a faith perspective.

Anderson University—a member of the CCCU—is a private, liberal arts, Christian institution of approximately 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in theology, religion and education.