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Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (1971-) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (1971-)


Historical Note:

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities has its roots in a perceived need for an association of Christ-centered colleges that would allow for closer collaboration among institutions across denominational lines. First proposed by the National Association of Evangelicals’ Commission of Higher Education, the Christian College Consortium came into being in July 1971, aided by a $300,000 grant from the Lilly Foundation and the able leadership of the Commission’s president Gordon Werkema.

The Consortium began with ten members; among its goals were the more effective integration of faith and learning, a cooperative effort to promote the cause of Christian higher education, and the development of domestic and international student programs. In 1975, a recommendation was made for a more broadly based organization. Its new activities would include monitoring legislation, judicial activity, and public opinion on matters affecting the freedom of Christian colleges, the development of unified positions on critical issues, and the development of an offensive position on potential erosions of religious and educational freedom within the Christian college movement.

In response to this recommendation, the Christian College Coalition was founded in September 1976. It had twenty-six members. For the first several years, the CCC was closely tied to the Consortium. It would not become incorporated as a separate entity until January 1982, and it would continue to share office space with its parent organization until 1990.

Werkema relinquished leadership of the CCC to John Dellenback in 1977; he remained president until 1988. During this time, the CCC worked to achieve significant expansion of programs and membership. Most notably, the Faith, Living, and Learning Institute was established (1979), publication of a handbook featuring member colleges was begun (published biannually after 1984), and the Latin American Studies Program became the CCC’s first overseas study program (1986). Membership grew to include 77 institutions.

After 1988, President Myron Augsburger gave the Coalition new focus: helping faculty and students develop a global understanding and a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity. A Minority Concerns Task Force was formed (1990), a series of think tanks to include issues concerning racial diversity was begun, and the Oxford (1990), Middle Eastern (1993), and Russian (1994) Studies Programs were added to the CCC repertoire. Fund raising became another emphasis as the Council worked to complete the National Capital Campaign (begun in 1987) and as funding from the Lilly Endowment made possible a project on “Increasing Fund Raising Effectiveness”.

From 1994 to the 2005, Robert Andringa, has led an effort to strengthen Council infrastructure and to increase awareness and build political/financial support for Christian higher education in evangelical circles. Activities have included the development of a Standing Policies Manual for clarifying organizational structure and a three-year study to assess the mission of church-related higher education. Several study programs for students were also started during this time, including Christian University GlobalNet (a distance education program), an Oxford Honors program, a semester-long China Studies program, and a semester-long journalism program based in Washington, D.C.

In 2006, after twelve productive years, Andriga retired to be succeeded by Paul R. Corts.

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff






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