The “Coming Out” of Christian Professors on Secular Campuses
by Julie Loos (Ratio Christi Boosters Director)
For years, Christian professors who teach at secular universities have been pressured to keep a closet kind of faith. The waves of political correctness and subtle or overt bias against Christians creates an environment of uncertainty as to what a professor can or cannot and should or should not say and do in the classroom and laboratory. This uncertainty has lead to isolation and fear as professors are sometimes concerned about the advancement of their hard-won academic credentials and tenure or even about losing their jobs.
Despite the squelching of religious freedom and free speech on the college campus, Christian professors are coming out and speaking out about how their faith impacts their worldview and therefore their teaching. Because their Christian worldview gives them a diverse perspective on their academic discipline, compared to secular professors, they are bringing about a renaissance in Christian thinking on the campus. They are rightly restoring the original principle of the university to bring unity in diversity of thought and opinion.
Ratio Christi, a campus apologetics alliance, is leading the charge in this endeavor and providing professors with both support and resources. The goal of the RC Prof ministry of Ratio Christi is a movement of missional professors active in every academic discipline and at the highest levels.
To see examples of what these professors are doing, watch these two video prototypes.
One set is called “Professors Who are Confessors.” These videos are the “coming out” professions of faith in the academic arena—both encouraging and inspiring. The other is called “Prof Talks”—these video vignettes answer the question “What does my academic vocation have to do with my Christian faith?” These current fields covered are pharmacy, computer graphics, agronomy, accounting, physics, and chemistry. RC is seeking Christian professors from other fields to record future Prof Talks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
For more information about the mission and vision of RC Prof, continue reading below:
While professors make up a small fraction of Americans, they possess a disproportionate influence on culture given their authoritative role in the highest halls of education. The university is the single most influential institution in western culture and Ratio Christi seeks to help restore it as it was originally grounded in Christian thought even from its European beginnings. Eventually, RC would like to see every university with a core group of Christian scholars working to rebuild the plausibility structure of the Christian worldview on the secular campus where the best books written in a given field are written by Christian professors. Through this movement, we foresee a university system that has a thriving population of Christian thinkers who are winsome, virtuous, and intentional about making great contributions in their fields of scholarship and also advancing the cause of Christ at the university.
RC Prof aims to encourage Christian professors to see their academic training as a gift from God that enables them to play a key role in re-igniting a serious Christian engagement in the academy.
RC Prof will help these professors incorporate their academic training into their Christian life and reach out to a university and world that desperately needs salt and light. RC aims to be a catalyst to connect Christian profs with opportunities to winsomely engage their faith in the life of the mind in a way that impacts students, other faculty, and the culture. In short, we seek to challenge non-believing professors with the Christian worldview and to mobilize believing professors as missional professors.
Thus, in addition to defending truth and Christianity at the university, we are committed to defending the right to defend truth and Christianity at the university. We believe that the right to choose and practice your religious convictions in the public square is a privilege given, not by man, but by God.