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Calif. college in creation teaching debate

April 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM   |   Comments

RIVERSIDE, Calif., April 11 (UPI) -- A church board call for a California Seventh-day Adventist college to incorporate creationism into courses has brought warnings from oversight organizations.

A Seventh-day Adventist Church board says La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif., hasn't gone far enough to address creationists' concerns in teaching its biology courses, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Sunday.

In 2009, the worldwide church's president urged all Adventist university professors to advocate the church's fundamental belief that God created the world in six days.

La Sierra leaders publicly apologized last month for not adequately emphasizing church teaching in biology classes after a petition critical of the university said some biology professors promoted the theory of evolution over Adventist beliefs.

However, pressure from the church on La Sierra is causing concern at the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, a federally approved accreditation agency that measures academic quality at public and private colleges and universities.

Accreditation is required for acceptance of university class credits by most other universities and many employers and for most financial aid.

In August the association extended its accreditation of La Sierra for eight years but said the controversy over creationism could threaten La Sierra's academic autonomy.

"What we want to make sure of is that non-academic outside forces are not controlling the curriculum," association president Ralph Wolff said. "While we respect that it is a faith-based institution, it is still an academic institution."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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