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The Idea of a Christian College:

A Reexamination for Today’s University

Todd C. Ream, Perry Glanzer


Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: Cascade Books
Publish Date: October 28, 2013
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1610973275
ISBN-13: 978-1610973274

In 1975, Arthur F. Holmes published The Idea of a Christian College. At the time he could not have imagined his book would gather such a large following. This work’s thoughtful yet accessible style made it a long-standing choice for reading lists on Christian college and university campuses across the country and around the world. Countless numbers of first-year students have read and discussed his book as part of their introduction to the Christian college experience. However, enough has changed since 1975 in both the Church and Academy to now merit a full-scale reexamination.

In this book, Todd C. Ream and Perry L. Glanzer account for changes in how people view the Church and themselves as human agents, and propose a vision for the Christian college in light of the fact that so many Christian colleges now look and act more like research universities. Including topics such as the co-curricular, common worship, and diversity, Ream and Glanzer craft a vision that strives to see into the future by drawing on the riches of the past. First-year students as well as new faculty members and administrators will benefit from the insights in this book in ways previous generations benefitted from Arthur Holmes’s efforts.


Todd C. Ream (PhD, Pennsylvania State University) is Professor of Higher Education at Taylor University and a research fellow with Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion.

Perry L. Glanzer (PhD, University of Southern California) is Professor of Educational Foundations and a faculty fellow with the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University.


All those envisioning a robustly Christian university for the twenty-first century–including administrators, trustees, faculty, and (co-curricular) staff–will need to read this book.

— Amos Yong
Professor of Theology and Dean of the School of Divinity, Regent University

Filled with insightful scholarship and stories that convey the challenges facing Christian universities today, this extraordinary book shows the path forward for the project of the Christian university. For administrators, professors, and parents seeking to understand the why and how of the Christian university, this is the book to read.

— Matthew Levering
Professor of Theology, University of Dayton

The Idea of a Christian College applies Holmes’s key themes to the dynamic, contemporary circumstances of today’s Christian university while addressing new topics not considered in the earlier work. Ream and Glanzer introduce new questions and offer fitting answers much needed in today’s complex Christian institutions. Those who aspire to build universities in a complex, global environment–institutions that are both academically excellent and true to their faith mission–will find insight and encouragement in this volume.

— Darryl Tippens
Provost, Pepperdine University