We have taken issue with President Johnson and Concordia Chicago in recent weeks over faculty members signing a petition in support of the Marxist-anarchist William Ayers. This week Concordia got some very good press in the Chicago area with a new program they have started and it is worthy of some good press here as well.
Thirty underprivileged junior high students from the neighboring village of Bellwood (adjacent to River Forest) will receive a free education at Concordia if they can maintain A’s and B’s for the remainder of their jr. high and high school years. The program is being funded by Fifth Third Bank.
There was a nice story on the local television news broadcast which included an interview with Dr. Johnson. The program and the interview put a very good face on the university and for that we commend Dr. Johnson.
The downside to this program is that it does highlight that our Concordias are relying more and more on a presence in the community and more significantly, tuition income from the community. In the long run this will hurt our schools and we believe it already has hurt them. These are church schools. If church schools rely on secular programs for income, the pagan tail is wagging the Lutheran dog. As I reported a few weeks ago, the graduate program in education (this is primarily a teachers college) is hardly Lutheran. I know of students who have gone through the Masters of Education program having had only one Lutheran professor in the entire curriculum.
Kudos to Dr. Johnson for this good press for Concordia Chicago but let us all as a synod take note of the secularization of our schools and seek to put the parochial back in Lutheran education.