Over the years, it has become increasingly hard for private universities, let alone a Christian one. There is immense financial pressure on Christian universities due to a reliance on government funding. This government assistance comes in many different forms, one of the largest being Pell Grants and guaranteed student loans.
With public funding come pressure. Why? Because there are always strings attached — in the case of public funding those strings are guidelines. Public, secular universities rarely face conflict in compliance with government assistance guidelines, but their standards often run in stark contrast to those of a Christian college.
The biggest battle being fought on Christian university campuses today is against the Title IX program. Title IX essentially prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex for any, “education program . . . receiving federal financial assistance.”
Sounds easy enough to follow, except that it encompasses more than just gender.
While President Obama was in office, the administration decided to expand the confines of Title IX, making it applicable to sexual orientation and gender identity.
What this essentially means for Christian schools, that uphold the belief and teach the biological basis of sex, is that they could lose federal funding.
While the Trump administration is not bent on scraping funds from Christian colleges, the risks still lurk, and pressure can be applied by this or any future administration. Title IX leaves wiggle room for interpretation and it could cause issues for Christian universities down the road.
Despite a relief of pressure from the Trump administration, many Christian universities have already caved to the pressure, and have been forced to change policies in order to not lose the Title IX funding. The future of funding continues in an ominous direction, as many Christian universities are rooted in their beliefs, but don’t know how to stay afloat without federal funding.
There have been many changes on campuses, as students have become more accepting of others beliefs. Some even twist the gospel in order to rationalize their choices. One student from a historic Christian college told NPR about her journey of discovering she was queer.
“When I realized,” she said, “that my faith wasn’t necessarily about the [Christian Reformed] Church, and it wasn’t even necessarily about the Bible but about my relationship with God and that God is all-encompassing and loving, I felt very free.”
This message of “inner knowledge and feelings” has overcome many in the Christian church, causing them to believe that they can twist the Gospel.
It is important for Christian colleges to be allowed to preach what they want, as public colleges do. There is no direct answer in how to help these Christian colleges, but hopefully, this administration can undo the wrongdoings of the last.