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Pillar President Stresses the Value of a Christ-Centered Education, Urgency of the Time


Photo: Dr. David Schroeder speaking at Pastors’ Prayer Summit (Movement.org)

In two impassioned addresses to leaders in Metro New York, Dr. David E. Schroeder, President of Pillar College, underscored the pressing issue of the erosion of Christian faith in American culture, particularly among the youth. Drawing from his extensive experience in Christian higher education and the distressing statistics from Pew Research Center, the American Enterprise Institute, and Barna, Dr. Schroeder made a compelling case for the vital role that Christ-centered colleges play in nurturing and preserving faith among young believers.

At the Pastors’ Prayer Summit in Tuscarora Inn and Conference Center on January 23, 2024, Dr. Schroeder presented a workshop on Christian education with Dr. Ron Walborn of Asbury Seminary. At the New Canaan Society’s Bergen County chapter in March, Dr. Schroeder, the former Nyack College/Alliance Seminary president, again shared about the dire situation facing the Church. 

With the United States witnessing a rapid decline in Christianity—a 12 percentage point drop over the last decade—and the rise of religiously unaffiliated individuals (particularly among Generation Z), the concern for the spiritual well-being of the younger generations has never been more acute. Dr. Schroeder poignantly referenced Luke 18:8 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to highlight the biblical anticipation of a falling away from faith, situating the current cultural shift within a broader scriptural context.

Dr. Schroeder’s talk was not merely a lamentation of the current state but a clarion call to action, advocating for a strategic approach to education that prioritizes faith. He cited an observation by Voddie Baucham: “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” This statement encapsulates the core of the challenge facing Christian families and educators: the need to provide educational environments that reinforce rather than undermine Christian values.

Dr. Schroeder also shared the sobering realities of the financial and cultural vulnerabilities facing Christian higher education. The closures of Alliance University and The King’s College in Manhattan serve as stark reminders of the challenges these institutions face. However, Pillar College, with campuses in Newark, Paterson, and Ocean County, NJ, stands as a beacon of hope in the metro NYC area, offering affordable, Christ-centered education accessible to a broad demographic.

Dr. Schroeder’s recent message was both a warning and an encouragement. He highlighted the essential role that Christian education plays in countering the tide of faith erosion and called upon church leaders to support and advocate for institutions like Pillar College. The choice between sending our youth to “Caesar” or to Christ-centered educational institutions is not merely academic but one that could determine the future of Christian faith in America.

Pillar College’s response to this challenge is the Foundations First program, a two-year accredited associate degree focusing on Bible, Theology, and Apologetics, designed to equip students with a robust spiritual foundation before they proceed to secular higher education, if they choose. This initiative reflects Pillar College’s commitment to fostering a strong faith foundation in students, ensuring they are prepared to navigate the secular challenges of higher education without compromising their beliefs.

“My appeal to you today as spiritual leaders in the NYC/NJ area is for you to use your influence to preserve the fruit of your ministry and to help your families make good decisions about where to send their children to college,” Dr. Schroeder said at the Pastors’ Prayer Summit.

“It is extremely important that we reaffirm the urgency and significance of Christian schools…In the Christian context, education is not an end in itself, but a means toward a more important end.  The goal of all Christian education at every level is to expand our awareness of the glory of God in His Word and in all He has created.”

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For more information on Pillar College, visit www.pillar.edu.