We commend the recent article in Christian Standard by John Derry, President of Hope International University, offering that Bible colleges are an important source of cohesion among the independent Christian churches and churches of Christ.
We, as a Bible college academic drudge, agree wholeheartedly, of course, as Derry's view feeds our hunger for self-importance.
We hasten to add a bit of information. Derry answers critics of Bible colleges who complain that too many students major in subjects other than ministry by saying that 30-40% is better than none. The math is undeniable, but the particulars need correcting, at least for SWNID's place, where the proportion of undergrads majoring in Bible is 100%, the proportion of undergrads with a program directed explicitly toward ministry is around 60-65% (higher still for men, whose career prospects in ministry are stronger than women's), and the number of graduate students in a program that is not ministry related is 0%.
We add also this perspective. The thoughtful editor of the Christian Standard asks adherents of the Restoration Movement to offer what keeps the movement together. We say that it is not any kind of institution or activity. It is the ideals of the movement, which are more potent than we sometimes reckon. SWNID is happy to know lots of people from lots of places and to become acquainted with even more though what they write. In our roughly three decades of paying attention, we've noticed more and more how many people articulate ideals associated with the Restoration Movement without being able to identify said movement. We think that they got the ideas from Scripture, which is clear, and found them powerful, an expected finding if the ideas are indeed prominent in the Word of God.
We are no Polyanna-in-the-Baptistery. We know all the sects and all the goofy things said and done in the name of the Bible. Hey, we chronicle some of them at this very URL! But we also know that there are other, better things happening than those.