Gordon College Will No Longer Have a History Major

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All Christian colleges are dealing with financial difficulties to one degree or another right now.  (And a significant number of non-Christian colleges are dealing with it as well).  Gordon College, a once flagship evangelical college in the Boston area, has just released a new academic model to “ensure” the college’s “longevity.”  Read all about it here.

As part of the restructuring, Gordon has created new “integrated majors.”  One of those new majors is “Philosophy-Politics-History.”  Here is the description:

While political science will remain as a free-standing major for those students interested in quantitative social science, it will be combined with philosophy and history, which will now be part of this integrated area of study and qualitative analysis. All three of these areas remain integral to a comprehensive liberal arts education. The simple but unpleasant reality is particular fields attract fewer students each year as singular majors (with philosophy in particular reflecting a nationwide declining trend). Many smaller colleges like Gordon are no longer able to sustain the level of investment needed for each of these to function as singular majors.

If I read this correctly, it now appears that Gordon College, a longtime bastion of the Christian liberal arts, no longer has a history major.  Notice that the above statement refers to philosophy, politics, and history as “areas.”  The stand-alone major is over.  Gordon will no longer have a four-year major that will teach students how to think historically about the world.

It is a sad. sad day for the Christian humanities.  My heart goes out to the Gordon history faculty.

Expect more of this.  I wonder if Gordon has set a precedent here that other Christian colleges will follow.  Times are changing.  Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “Gordon College Will No Longer Have a History Major

  1. This is heartbreaking. Michael Lindsey‘s experiment in running Gordon as a platform for his professional-personal ambitions has been a catastrophic failure. From the start, he seemed blithely uninterested in Gordon’s distinctive mission, to be a generous, open, intellectually vibrant Christian counter cultural in New England. He made leadership decisions intended to impress a coterie of white conservative ideologues unaffiliated with the college , enabled by an inept and arrogant board, and remained indifferent to the cultural and demographic shifts among millennial Christians. It worried me especially as a white southerner that Lindsey hailed from a Mississippi private school established as a segregationist academy. In any case, he prevailed in his efforts to create a Bob Jones-Liberty University Boston. But there is no appetite for such a monstrosity. Soon to be a case study in failed leadership.

    case of failed leadership.

    Charles Marsh, English literature and philosophy, ‘81

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  2. There are popular Christian “historians”. Their best selling works make clear how seriously a lot of Christians take history.
    An enthusiastic Christian friend insisted on loaning me a book by Martaxes. On the second or third page I learned that Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” speech was delivered at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, not in Richmond. Of course Martaxes also didn’t mention that like most of Henry’s speeches he didn’t stick to a text and those words were not attributed to him in that speech until much later.

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  3. It is ironic that a school committed to the Christian faith, which is based on history, would drop its history major.

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