Funding For Faith-Based Higher Education
Leaders of Congress appear to be reaching agreement on legislation enacting President George W. Bush's "faith-based initiative." Most Americans applaud the President's effort to remove government regulatory obstacles that keep religious charities from serving the needy. But many still worry about what will happen if the faithful accept government money. Will government grants create dependency and impair the effectiveness of faith-based charities? Will grants entice charities to accept restrictions, encourage them to cut their church ties or alter their policies? Charity leaders and the Bush administration might do well to study the history of faith-based colleges in the U.S. Over the past several decades many of them have become more secular and increasingly dependent on federal funding. Of course, institutions of higher education are not the same as faith-based charities, but a review of how colleges have changes may offer some guidance for charity leaders and policymakers.