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The Idea of a Christian College Paperback – Unabridged, March 1, 1987

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arthur F. Holmes (Ph.D., Northwestern University) taught philosophy at Wheaton College for over forty years. He is the author and editor of many books, including Contours of a World View, Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions, and The Making of a Christian Mind.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 106 pages
  • Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Revised ed. edition (March 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802802583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802802583
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Idea of a Christian College is a concise work that kind of lays out why we have Christian colleges. In the first few pages, Arthur Holmes is quick to point out what the Christian college is not: a defender of the faith, a good education with Bible classes and chapels, or just a training center for Church-related vocations. Yes, a Christian college can provide these but to be unique, they need to offer more - much more.

A Christian college "should be an education that cultivates the creative and active integration of faith and learning, of faith and culture."

This book definitely targets professors and administrators working at a Christian college and even graduate students looking to get into the profession. This book is not really targeted for students or their parents, though I am sure some of them could benefit from it.

If you believe in Christian higher education or you want to look into deeper, I think this book is a great intitation. This book is a definite recommend but like most books, it is not perfect. It is more like a launching pad than a comprehensive thesis.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must for every Christian college professor. Against the current practices of Christian colleges in publicizing the social and extracurricular benefits of a Christian college, training Christians for Christian or church vocations, offering Bible classes in conjunction with a normal secular curriculum, Holmes argues that the purpose of a Christian college is to educate Christianly. He outlines the Christian world view and then demonstrates how this fits into a Christian liberal arts education.

Holmes has revised several chapters, has eliminated one-gender language (substituted "she" for "he" in most places), and has included two new chapters, one on career preparation and one on the marks of an educated person, in the new edition of his classic The Idea of a Christian College.

As a philosopher, he shows his preference for philosophy as the queen of sciences, rather than physiology, sociology, psychology, and so forth. His chapter on the integration of faith and learning is probably the best. We educate Christianly by teaching and demonstrating Christian attitudes, Christian ethics, Christian foundations in theology, history and philosophy, a Christian world view. He shows how experience must be integrated with the academic portions of the educational program, discusses aspects of the college community, and shows that though a liberal arts education is not geared for vocational training (teaching soon to be outdated technos), it is very valuable in a rapidly changing job market.

-- Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 1988, 7 (1), 78-81
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I'm a college sophomore, and when I read this book last year, it changed the way I saw higher education. Holmes's insight into what the human mind and heart need at this stage of life is incredible, and he called out the universities of his day that were settling for the conventional ideas about higher education that were beginning to dominate the Christian college scene. I read it in one night.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is well written and brief. (It's amazing how often those two go together!) The contents are as follows:
_____________________________
Preface
1. Why a Christian College?
2. Theological Foundations
3. The Liberal Arts: What and Why?
4. Liberal Arts as Career Preparation
5. Integrating Faith and Learning
6. Academic Freedom
7. College as Community
8. Experience is not Enough
9. The Marks of an Educated Person
Suggestions for further reading
_____________________________
The chapter on integrating faith and learning was especially good, as was the chapter on academic freedom. Refreshingly lucid thinking and writing: no stale ideas to be found.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you want to understand the importance of a Christian education, get this book. The only thing I would recommend is get a dictionary, because he uses some tough words.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book holds some interesting concepts and the author obviously studied up on his topic. Consideration to remember is that this is just one man's opinion. One thing I had an issue with in the writing is that it is written in an older style (the cadence and vocabulary), but every "he" pronoun has been replaced with "she" to be trendy. This was extremely annoying because I kept trying to figure out who "she" was. While I know that this is a debate in the secular world, it seems if people are going to keep all the author's old vernacular, the least they could do is keep the pronouns consistent with that time period.
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A must read if you are trying to decide whether to attend a Christian College or a regular (secular) one.
The most important quality of this book is it's objectivity. It works through the pros and cons of a Christian or Secular College.
If you are trying to make a decision, this book may help you make an informed decision. A very good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has enlightened me to ideas about education I never considered. As a parent who believes firmly in classical Christian education, I can tell you that the vision of education described in "The Idea of a Christian College" applies to all levels of learning - not only university level.
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