Utilizing a common set of objective institutional markers as a compass, this book guides readers through the terrain of various Christian institutions.
The Christian higher education landscape confuses many people. Future students, parents, staff, and even faculty often do not understand the important subtleties and nuances. They need a guide that empirically explores the ways Christian universities operationalize their Christian identity. This book will guide them through the field of Christian higher education and introduce our Operationalizing Christian Identity Guide (OCIG), which identifies the major ways Christian colleges and universities use their Christian identity to make mission, marketing, membership, curriculum, cocurricular, and other decisions (an online spreadsheet of OCIG scores for all the Christian colleges and universities in North America updated in real-time will be available to readers). These markers are identifiable by anyone, no matter their religious or nonreligious background.
The OCIG is then employed to provide readers a tour of Protestant, historically Black, Catholic, evangelical/multidenominational, and Eastern Orthodox institutions in the United States and Canada. Parents, students, staff, and faculty will be equipped to engage Christian higher education with a clearer understanding of these key elements and their importance to the mission and purposes of individual institutions and Christian higher education at large.
Perry L. Glanzer is a Professor at Baylor University, a Resident Scholar with the Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, and Editor-in-Chief of Christian Scholar’s Review. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books, including Identity in Action.
Theodore F. Cockle is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Baylor University and a Resident Scholar with Baylor’s Center for School Leadership. He is coauthor of Christ-Enlivened Student Affairs (ACU Press, 2020) and serves as the editor of Ideas, an online publication of the Association of Christians in Student Development (ACSD).
Jessica Martin is currently earning her PhD in Higher Education Studies & Leadership at Baylor University. She holds an MA in Higher Education & Student Affairs and has over eight years of experience in various Christian higher education settings.
“Thanks to Glanzer, Cockle, and Martin for this invaluable book offering readers a new lens for navigating the many approaches to Christian higher education present in the US and Canada today. For those just beginning their Christian higher education journeys, this guide provides an accessible overview of the wide array of institutions with various Christian commitments and expressions. Meanwhile, more experienced scholars and practitioners receive an objective and useable tool for evaluating the way Christian identity influences key institutional practices.”
—Shirley V. Hoogstra, JD, President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
“Christian Higher Education: An Empirical Guide is an indispensable resource that sheds light on the complex and diverse world of Christian colleges and universities. The authors provide a comprehensive analysis, based on empirical measures, to help parents, students, faculty, and staff navigate the overwhelming task of choosing the right institution. With a keen focus on the challenges faced by these groups, the authors address the common concerns of parents investing in their children’s education, individuals who have regretted their choices, and disillusioned faculty members or administrators. By exposing the discrepancies between the professed Christian identity and the actual implementation of that identity, the book unveils the varied experiences and missions across campus. This guide equips readers with invaluable knowledge for informed decision-making, ensuring that resources are wisely invested in institutions that align with their values and goals. Whether you are a parent, staff member, faculty, administrators, or board member, Christian Higher Education is an eye-opening and essential tool that illuminates the intricate landscape of Christian higher education.”
—Michael J. James, Director, Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education Boston College
"There is a tendency to fit all Christian colleges into the same stereotype. But Christian Higher Education illustrates the diversity of the Christian college experience. With painstaking care, Glanzer, Cockle and Martin lay out important information connected to the different Christian institutions of higher education. This is valuable work for those who either desire to study, work at or attend a Christian college or university in the near future. This book is a necessary resource for the Christian community."
—George Yancey, Professor of Sociology at Baylor University