Monday, October 18, 2010

First Things Rates Colleges

Over the weekend, I’ve come across so many blogable items, I do not know where to start. But I want to be sure to draw your attention to the November issue of First Things containing its ratings of American colleges.

Unlike most evaluations of colleges, First Things’ looks at a college’s moral, ideological, and religious atmosphere in addition to academics, including whether it is hostile or welcoming to orthodox Christians. And the descriptions are perceptive and even witty. Take, for example, their description of Carleton College as possessing a Leftish “ideological homogeneity greater than one finds in places where there are no local Bible churches to create the anxious thought that not everybody reads the New York Times.” Judging from what a friend who ministers at that campus tells me, that is right on target.

First Things does not presume to tell readers that colleges with low ratings on their moral and religious atmosphere are no-go areas. Instead it makes the wise observation that whereas the faith of some students thrives in a challenging and even hostile atmosphere, the faith of others is not so strong. Students and their families would do well to take that into consideration when choosing a college. The November issue is very helpful in that regard. I heartily recommend getting a copy, especially if someone in your household will be going to college in the near future.

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