Changes in Mormon church could pose major challenges to Christian colleges
Many individuals belonging to the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) attend Christian colleges and universities, as they wish to earn their degrees in an environment that is supportive and encouraging of their values and beliefs. Some schools align more closely to the LDS faith than others, but according to Deseret News, recent announcements made by church elders could have profound implications for Christian universities across the country.
Officials recently announced that the age requirements for Mormon missionaries would be lowered from 19 for men and 21 for women to 18 and 19, respectively. Missionary work is considered an integral part of the Mormon faith, and some Christian colleges and universities may experience a sharp decline in enrollments and substantial drops in revenues due to the lower age requirements for overseas mission trips.
Colleges that serve large Mormon populations will have to adapt to the new changes in order to attract and retain these students, according to some experts.
“In the same way that campuses have had to adjust to all these returning veterans, universities that serve a large number of Mormons in similar ways will have to think about ways to serve students who might want to re-enter college at odd times, students who might be fluent in a foreign language, who might be a little older and at a different life stage,” David Campbell, a political science professor at the University of Notre Dame, told Inside Higher Ed.