by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A new study shows that 18 Christian colleges have closed or merged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Christianity Today reports.
The study was conducted by Higher Ed Drive, which is tracking “major closings, mergers, acquisitions, and other consolidation among public and private nonprofit institutions from 2016 to the present.”
The study found that the 18 Christian colleges that closed were Methodist, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Church of Christ, and Independent Christian Church schools, Christianity Today reports. The schools were all small and had faced financial difficulties even prior to the pandemic.
“They faced devastating demographic shifts, declining enrollment, internal conflict exacerbated by ongoing crises, and, most of all, unrelenting financial challenges,” writer Daniel Silliman explained in his report for Christianity Today. “Some would have certainly closed even without a global health crisis. For others, the coronavirus was the last stiff breeze that blew them over the edge.”
One of the schools which had to close down in 2021 was the 183-year-old Judson Baptist College in Marion, Alabama. “We know this was the right decision,” W. Mark Tew, president of Judson College, told Christianity Today. “But there is not a person here whose heart isn’t broken over this.”
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.