The Fate of Christian Universities


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The Fate of Christian Universities

Faith on Campus:

Rising and thriving: Christian college enrollment

Growth over a 15 year period:

Public 4-year campuses grew 13%,
Independent 4 year campuses (including many schools with broad religious or denominational connections) grew 28%.
CCCU schools grew 71%.
67: percentage by which CCCU schools outpaced enrollment in public post-secondary schools
*1990-2004, the latest comprehensive survey of CCCU enrollment by the DOE

Why the increased enrollment:

Smaller class size: than larger private or public schools
Lower Costs:
$30,094: average cost of tuition and fees at private institutions
$24,705: average cost at CCCU schools
Maximum tuition: $42,200
Minimum tuition: $4,900

Emphasized comparisons: Us vs. Them (Christian vs. Secular)

CCCU schools helps students so inclined to become active servants of Jesus Christ and Share the Gospel
Secular schools: Inclusive of all lifestyles. Non judgmental

Christian school: Teachers — Generally, born again
Secular school: Teachers —Inclusive of all religions or atheist

Christian school: Curriculum based on God’s words
Secular school: Curriculum: What is truth? Society decides what is right or wrong

Christian School: Teach that God created the universe
Secular School: The Big Bang Theory

The challenges administrators face: Shrinking revenue

CCCU schools:
Rely on unpaid faculty members–brothers, nuns, and priests– now in shrinking supply.
Shorter history of fund raising, smaller endowments.
Recession affected 4 primary revenue streams: tuition and fees; endowments; grants from denominations or other religious organizations; and gifts from individual donors.
Many Bible-based keep tuition low. Costs rise.
During the worst months of the recession ½ of seminaries cut their budgets by up to 12 percent in 2009.

To stay alive…CCCU schools
• Cut budgets by up to 12 percent during recession
• Faculty and staff salaries frozen
• But…Increased financial aid budgets (from 2009-2012: 35 % inc.)
• On average: CCCU schools have 75% of students showing financial need

Most CCCU students are Christian but in order to survive Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York suggested:
• Expand the student base to include non Christians: 323,542: number of non-Chrstian students at CCCU schools helps pay tuitions.
• Grow endowments, find more stable funding sources
• Sell buildings, do more online work
• Downsize, consolidate programs
• More collaboration with similar institutions [Example: The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary merged with Lenoir-Rhyne University, a Lutheran college in North Carolina]

Spreading the Gospel of Christian Colleges

1.8 million: number of CCCU alumni
350: number of undergraduate majors offered at Christian colleges
150: number of graduate majors
400,000 Plus: number of students enrolled annually

Snapshot: 2014 Strong

Tuitions still lower than other private colleges: $24,705 (CCCU) vs. $30,094
3.8%: increase in tuition over 2013; that’s a lower rate of increase than the 4.6% inc. in 2012 tuition
$9254 median gift aid at CCCU schools, up from $8,478
CCCU student debt upon graduation grew only 2% from 2010-2013; from 2007-2010, debt increased 23%