Updated Sunday, July 6
Professor Peter Conn, an English professor at the University of Pennsylvania, provides a frightening example of how tyrannical secularism has become in the contemporary academy. He wants accreditors to stop accrediting religiously affiliated colleges. Conn makes a compelling case for importance of Christian accreditation of Christian colleges. If Conn and his allies have their way, Christian colleges will soon either be denied accreditation or be secularized; they can’t sustain their doctrinal distinctives under Conn’s vision of a “legitimate” university. Only secularism is worthy of accreditation under his doctrine. He states,

“By awarding accreditation to religious colleges, the process confers legitimacy on institutions that systematically undermine the most fundamental purposes of higher education. Skeptical and unfettered inquiry is the hallmark of American teaching and research. However, such inquiry cannot flourish—in many cases, cannot even survive—inside institutions that erect religious tests for truth.”

Secular hegemony raging  like this within regionally accredited institutions puts pressure on regional accreditors to disallow religiously diverse  institutions within their orbit.

I suspect Peter Conn wants to be the Secular Academy’s Pope. So much for “unfettered” inquiry.

Check out these two other excellent responses to Conn by Rod Dreher and Alan Jacobs.

Jacobs says, “Peter Conn is right about one thing: college accreditation is a mess. But his comments about religious colleges are thoughtless, uninformed, and bigoted.”

See Conn’s whole rant in The Chronicle of Higher Education here: The Great Accreditation Farce.

Thanks to Keith Saare for the heads up on Conn’s editorial.

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