Can Hope Endure?: A Historical Case Study in Christian Higher Education
The spate of books written recently on Christian higher education highlights a common theme -- how numerous colleges founded by church bodies have gradually lost their religious moorings, often culminating in what historian George Marsden calls "established nonbelief." "Can Hope Endure?" examines the history of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, as it has struggled to find a faithful middle way between secularization and withdrawal from mainstream academic and American culture.
Authors James Kennedy and Caroline Simon track Hope College's responses to various social and intellectual challenges through careful analysis of school records, newspaper stories, extant histories, and interviews with faculty members and past presidents. Hope's history reveals that the school is exceptional, having followed the predictable trajectory, yet changing course in some ways. Given this unusual history, the story of why and how Hope College moved toward reestablishing the role of religion in its institutional life yields important lessons for other schools facing the same challenges.
Neither an attack on Hope College nor the kind of celebratory institutional history that so many schools have authorized, this book is instead a thoughtful, instructive study written by two professors who have witnessed firsthand many of Hope's struggles to retain its identity and purpose. The book's narrative is enriched by the "binocular vision" provided by a professional historian and a professional philosopher, and collaboration has afforded Kennedy and Simon the critical distance necessary to ask hard questions about Hope and, by extension, other institutions like it.
"Can Hope Endure?" will be of realinterest not only to readers associated with Hope College but also to those following or participating in the ongoing conversation about Christianity and higher education.
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Hope and Durability
Can Christian Colleges Long Endure?
Forces Testing Endurance
Tensile Strength or Shapelessness?
The Roots of Hope Colleges Middle Way Religious and Cultural Contours 18661945
Western Men Eastern Money
Local Morality and Churchly Vigilance
Dutch Pilgrims and American Citizens
A Lengthening Hyphen in ChurchRelated?
Hopes NeoMiddle Way 19721987
Excellence in the Context of Faith
Negotiating the Shape of the NeoMiddle Way
Education in the NeoMiddle Way
Religious Freedom for Whom?
Hopes Unsettled Religious Settlement
Testing Hopes Endurance 19871999
The Goal of the Middle Way Elevating Humanity through Educating Christians 18661945
A Staunch and Certain Christianity
Public Schools and Christian Colleges
Early Curriculum and Faculty
Our Bible and Science Departments Do Not Quarrel
Manly Men and Women of Granite
Messengers of Hope and the Elevation of Humanity
A Tradition of SelfSacrifice and Service
Continuity and Change within Hopes Middle Way 19251963
Evangelistic to Evangelical 19251945
Controversy and Control 19451953
Sacrificing the Spirit to Survival? 19531963
The Babe and the Bathwater
Crisis for Hopes Middle Way 19631972
Piety versus Competence
Search Confrontation and Liberating Minds
Enacting a Socially Relevant Christianity
A City on a Hill
The Hiring Policy
Local Morality Revised in a New Key
The Gathering Storm
A FullScale Tempest
Anchored or Adrift in the Middle Way?
Calling Creativity and the Future of Christian Higher Education
Calling and Creativity
The Challenges of Genuine Ecumenicity
All Excellent Things Are Difficult
Identity Faithfulness and Enduring Hope
Chronology of Hope College Presidents
Biographical Notes on Selected Figures in Hope Colleges History