Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 19, 1959
NUMBER 41, PAGE 8-9b

Let's Consider

Clifton Inman

There are some twelve colleges now owned and operated by members of the church of Christ throughout America. There are some 12,000 or more students enrolled in these colleges. There are, no doubt, more than 1,000 graduates turned out of these colleges each year. Plans are now being augmented for the starting of some four or five more such schools. Let us examine some facts about these schools, weighing their cost against their benefits.

Annual Cost

The total cost to the 12,000 students for tuition, fees, room and board will be approximately $12,000,000. This twelve million will pay only about 75 per cent of the actual cost of educating them. This means that it will take another $4,000,000 from gifts, endowments, bequests, etc. to operate the schools. Another $2,000,000 at least will be needed for expansion. This means that from all sources the colleges must have an annual income of $18,000,000. Six million of this must come from gifts and endowments.

General Cost Of Education

This figure seems staggering at first. But many of those who seem to think the matter impossible forget that boys and girls are going to receive an education anyhow. The twelve million that is paid in tuition, fees, and room and board will have to be paid at some school anyhow. In addition it takes approximately eight hundred dollars a year in taxes for each student enrolled in a state college to support the colleges where they attend. This means that it would cost the state $9,600,000 annually were these schools to close and the state have to furnish facilities for them. Some are pleased to say that such schools are a hindrance to our government and American way of life. In fact they are of great benefit.

Benefits To America

In addition to saving the state governments $9,600,000 a year in taxes these schools give these added benefits: (1) guarantee of academic freedom, (2) better trained worker and management personnel, (3) more stable community and home life. In some countries the state becomes all powerful and controls the schools so that all work must meet the standard of the central government. Private schools prevent this. When a tyrant takes over the state schools citizens may enroll in the private schools. In a survey made by a special national committee it was learned that a majority of the heads of the corporations in America come from the private schools. It was found that the graduate of the private school (especially the one with a religious emphasis) was more stable emotionally more dependable and more able to take advancement. In one school operated by members of the church it has been found that of 5,000 graduates who began their courtship on the campus there has been less than one divorce in every 200 marriages. The national average is now about one divorce in every four marriages.

Cost To Individuals

But how much does all this cost the individual? If Christians who have no children could be sold on helping parents who do have children so that every member of the church in America would try to give something toward providing better education for boys and girls of our land the cost of these schools would be negligible.

There are now more than 1,600,000 members of the church in America. If each one could be persuaded to work toward the education of our children in a Christian environment, then we could each give six dollars a year and provide the schools $9,000,000 a year.

What It Purchases

What will this purchase for our children? What it purchases is almost beyond belief. Let us see a few of them.

Financial Opportunities

The college graduate earns on an average of $3,000 more a year than does the high school graduate. For only 1,000 graduates this means an increased aggregate earning, power of $3,000,000 a year. In only ten years we will have 10,000 graduates who will be earning $30,000,000 more a year than if they had not had a college education.

Spiritual Opportunities

Every member of the Boards of Directors of these schools is a faithful member of the church. Every teacher is a faithful member of the church. Each student is encouraged to think of life as he lives it in his chosen field from the standpoint of a Christian. He is given opportunity to study the Bible in a systematic supervised way almost daily. Daily he has a period of devotion and worship in the chapels with other students.

A recent survey shows the result of this. In several state colleges it was found that over 80% of boys and girls who attended from church homes never attended the meetings for public worship and study provided by the church. In colleges operated by members of the church it was found that less than 2% became unfaithful.

Family Advantages

The permanency of the homes of those graduating from such colleges has already been mentioned. This assures better trained and more emotionally stable children.

Relation to the Church Should one suggest that all this will benefit the church some are prone to talk of its being sacrilegious for one to speak of a human institution being able to help a divine one. One man wrote me recently that he did not think that schools help to have a better church, but that the church helps us to have better schools. I think he is beginning at the right end of the matter. When Christians operate any business, educational or otherwise, it should be better than when others operate it. But the fact that a better business is operated by Christians than by sinners will be a help to the church in turn. If not, why not?

Let us see some ways then that the church is helped. Should that 12,000 students who now attend these schools be turned out to attend state schools and the ratio continue as it has been found, 9,600 of them would be lost to the church. But it might be better to say that the parents of these children would find that 9,600 souls of their own children were lost.

The aggregate income of these 9.600 would be $63,360,000 a year if they earn the national average for college graduates, $6,600. Had they remained faithful to the Lord and have given 10% of this amount into the treasury of the Lord's church, the church would have had $6,336,000 more a year with which to carry on its work. But multiply this by ten, to obtain the number who would be lost over a ten year period. At the end of ten years of this kind of loss the church would be losing $63,360,000 a year.

The cost in the aggregate would be about $18,000,000. The loss if we do not provide the proper education is many souls, much influence, and $63,360,000 a year. This education will cost each member of the church about six dollars a year, or fifty cents a month. Let's begin looking at the loss for a while and not concentrate so much of our thinking upon the cost which is almost negligible on an individual basis.

Yes, it costs the church when every parent does not give his child the very best training possible. It helps the church when parents seek to give the best training in the best environment.