We have proclaimed “Christianity and Culture” as our motto since 1891. Now, 120 years later, moving the hope of
the gospel into the heart of society is more challenging
Although Christianity is still a major influence in the United States, a superficial glance at the numbers, as reported in a 2009 American Religious Identification Survey, paints a troubling scene:
- The percentage of self-identified Christians nationwide has fallen 10 percentage points since 1990.
- In the West (Oregon, Washington and California), the number of non-Catholic Christians declined faster than anywhere in the nation, dropping from 51 percent in 1990 to just 39 percent in 2008.
- For the first time in American history, non-believers are the fastest-growing religious segment.
Perhaps most troubling is a finding reported in the book unChristian: When 16- to 29-year-olds were asked to identify their impressions of Christianity, the most frequent images that came to mind were “Christianity has changed from what it used to be” and “Christianity in today’s society no longer looks like Jesus.”
But there’s more to this story. Even with Christianity on the decline nationwide since 1990, George Fox has experienced tremendous growth. In 1986, leaders at George Fox re-envisioned the idea of a Christian university – and Christian ministry – and developed programs that prepared students to use their skills and career ambitions to benefit communities – to be “in the world but not of it.” The result has been an unprecedented 429 percent surge in enrollment.
At George Fox, we’ve embraced the call to connect Christ and culture, to train Christians to be leaders in all areas of life – to integrate the sacred into everything we do. Our approach is unique within higher education. We are intentional about creating opportunities for our students to be known – personally, academically and spiritually. George Fox graduates receive a holistic education and then take their vocational expertise into the workplace and bring the love of God with them.
The following stories highlight how our alumni, faculty and current students are using their vocations – whether it’s running a multi-million dollar company, arresting sex trafficking criminals, making a movie or helping moms raise their kids – to make the world a better place. This is faith on the ground. This is connecting Christ and culture.