Maclean’s magazine had an article up about a group of Canadian university professors who are trying to shut down Christian universities for having a statement of faith that excludes non-Christians.
Here’s an excerpt from the article.
By most accounts, Trinity Western University, located in the Vancouver suburb Langley, is a respected member of the Canadian university community. It’s long enjoyed the rubber stamp of approval that is being a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, an organization that fills the vacuum created by Canada’s lack of formal university accreditation. In 2004, the provincial government exempted the school from “detailed reviews of its degree programs,” making Trinity Western the fourth member of an elite club of west coast universities alongside the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University. In fact, having been opened in 1962, the school is one year older than UVic. Trinity Western is also home to three research chairs and boasts over $1 million in annual research funding, impressive for a relatively small institution.
Despite Trinity Western University’s (TWU) near universal acceptance as a full-fledged university, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)—a union of sorts, representing faculty associations across the county, that has fought sometimes controversial fights over academic freedom since 1951—placed TWU on its blacklist of universities that violate academic freedom in October, effectively calling into question the school’s dedication to the very heart of what it is to be a university. According to a CAUT report, because TWU—which describes itself as “a faith-based institution, one inspired by Christ’s life and guided by his teachings”—submits its faculty to what CAUT calls a “faith test,” it is violating academic freedom.
The controversial faith test consists of a “Statement of Faith” that professors are required to sign annually and that outlines the “philosophical framework to which all faculty, staff and administration are committed without reservation.” It includes a list of convictions to which professors must assert to subscribe, including belief in the bible, in one infinitely perfect god, that Jesus Christ was a real man, and in “the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.”
Another problem with Trintity is their insistence that there is such a thing as objective truth:
The academic calendar at TWU goes so far as to reject a definition of academic freedom that denies an established perspective: “Trinity Western University rejects as incompatible with human nature and relevational theism a definition of academic freedom which arbitrarily and exclusively requires pluralism without commitment, denies the existence of any fixed points of reference, maximizes the quest for truth to the extent of assuming it is never knowable, and implies an absolute freedom from moral and religious responsibility to its community.” In other words, the university rejects relativism, which many academics would say is incompatible with the primary role of a university.
Isn’t it ironic that it is the secular left universities that make debate impossible through a variety of heavy-handed mechanisms like speech codes, denial of tenure, etc. One only has to watch the movie “Expelled” or “Indoctrinate U”, or read anything by Harold Morowtiz, to find out that it is the secular left that enforces a secular leftist orthodoxy on campus. And this is to say nothing of the secular leftist Human Rights Commissions that enforce political correctness on the society as a whole.
Trinity Western University received an A+ from the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report for two years running, making it the only Canadian University to receive this distinction. It also received the highest ratings for student satisfaction, student-faculty interaction, teaching, class size, ease of course registration, campus atmosphere, and academic reputation. Is it at all possible that students learning in a homogeneously religious University might excel in ways that are academically superior to relativist and pluralist Universities? Perish the thought!
The postmodern secular leftist university has abandoned the search for truth, at least in non-technical fields, in favor of indoctrinating students with a host of “isms” that are never tested or debated. It’s no surprise at all that Christian universities would produce the best students in non-technical fields – we’re the only ones who care about what’s really true!