Over the weekend I attended the graduation ceremony at the local Northwest Nazarene University (NNU). NNU bills itself as “one of the premier Christian institutions of higher education in the Northwest.” While I have long known of NNU’s liberal leanings, it was still shocking to hear the speaker, President Emeritus Dr. Richard Hagood, refer to heretic Dallas Willard as one of his favorite authors. It is sad that a person with such poor discernment could rise to the level of president in a supposed “Christian” university. If you are not familiar with Dallas Willard, he is one of the leaders of this spiritual formation movement which often steers into mysticism, contemplative prayer, and other New Age practices.
If you are considering sending you child to a “Christian” college, make sure you look beyond just their simple statement of faith. Look at the reading lists of their courses. For example, NNU’s reading lists for various courses include materials from heretics such as Rob Bell, Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Brother Lawrence, and Eugene Peterson. Goodness! At least at a secular school your kids will not be told that the garbage they are studying is Christian.