New start for troubled Christian college

Sept. 4, 2006 at 6:55 PM
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LOUDOUN, Va., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A Christian college in Virginia begins a new school year after losing half of its faculty last semester due to a dispute over the Bible's role in academics.

Five of Patrick Henry College's 16 full-time faculty members, concerned about academic freedom, left the Loudoun County school after an incident involving a former government instructor, The Washington Times reports.

Instructor Erik Root had his contract temporarily pulled after he published a paper in a campus magazine about the political philosophy of a Christian saint and a parent complained about a philosophical example Root had used in one of his classes.

"The crucial issues had to do with the college's commitment to liberal arts and academic freedom, due process (and) how you treat your faculty," says Kevin Culberson, a former history and literature teacher at the college. "It has to do with a fundamentalist narrowing of the education."

Under Virginia law, the college has to be accredited by November 2007 or lose the right to call itself a degree-granting institution.

Many of the school's students come from home-school environments, and many become interns at the White House, the Times said.

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