Can a Christian Be a Dean? Toward a Theological Approach to Academic Administration in Christian Higher Education

From: Volume 6NS, Issue 1: Spring 2002 Pages 35-54

Abstract

Faith-learning integration is a distinctive concern of evangelical higher education. Regardless of how one may evaluate the effectiveness of Christian higher education'??s endeavor to integrate faith and learning, the focus of these endeavors has primarily been on the academic disciplines, i.e., the curriculum or academic research. What has typically escaped notice in this concern is administration in Christian higher education. What is "Christian"? about higher education administration in the Christian or Bible college? This presentation will attempt to apply a paradigm of faith-learning integration based on Niebuhr'??s Christ and Culture (1951) to the place and function of academic administration in institutions of Christian higher education. Based on a survey of the precedent literature and a 1998-99 study of academic deans in member institutions of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC), this presentation will provide direction toward a theologically-informed approach to Christian academic administration. It will address the matter in seven sections: (1) Faith-learning integration and Christian higher education; (2) The necessity of a theologically-based academic administration in Christian higher education; (3) Theological foundations and frameworks for Christian higher education administration; (4) Theologically-informed values in academic administration; (5) Theologically-informed metaphors in academic administration; (6) Toward an integrated approach to academic administration in Christian higher education; and (7) Practical means of implementing a theologically-informed approach to the deanship.

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