Where Are The Good Colleges? – With Len Munsil, President of ACU: Should a Christian college really need to have a debate over how many genders there are? Are there any colleges left that haven’t become indoctrination centers? What should the core elements of a college education be? Tune in to hear Len Munsil, President of Arizona Christian University, discuss where to find a genuine education worth paying!

Air Date: 11/03/2021

Guest: Len Munsil

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. So glad you are with us today on WallBuilders Live. Wall builders, if you’re tuning in for the first time, it comes from that scripture in Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls that we may no longer be a reproach. 

Here at WallBuilders, we are rebuilding the foundations, we’re restoring the principles, the biblical principles upon which this nation was built. So every topic of the day, we look at it from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And I have the honor of being here with David Barton. He is America’s premier historian. He’s our founder at WallBuilders. And Tim Barton is with us. He’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. 

You can find out more about all three of us at wallbuilderslive.com, that’s wallbuilderslive.com. Has a list of the stations across the country where you can hear the program, as well as the archives over the last few weeks and months and a lot of other great information as well. It’s also the place where you can make that one-time or monthly contribution.

We greatly appreciate you coming alongside us; we’re a listener-supported program. So your support is what makes it possible. Not only for us to get this program out there to as many people as possible with all the truth that we bring every day, but also to be able to train more pastors and legislators and young people and all the different people that are involved in the culture right now trying to restore these foundations. You can be a part of it by contributing at wallbuilderslive.com.

One of the things before we dive into today’s program, I want to invite you to be with us on Monday nights. We have a live class on Monday nights, and we’ve got a new one starting next Monday, November 8th. This is a free class. It’s going to go for six weeks. And you can join us every Monday night. We’ll have a live opportunity for Q&A. We’ll also have the videos from Foundations of Freedom. 

Biblicalcitizens.com

We’ll be diving into those foundational principles, and then have special guests like David Barton, Tim Barton, Mark Meckler, Carol Swain, Michelle Bachman, Glenn Beck, all these people are going to be on these videos or live in the Q&A, and you’re going to get a chance to ask questions and have great fellowship with tens of thousands of people from across the nation. So I hope you’ll consider joining us on Monday nights. We start November 8th, and you sign up at biblicalcitizens.com. That’s Biblicalcitizens.com.

Alright, David, and Tim, later in the program, we got the President of Arizona Christian University, he’s going to be with us Len Munsil. And of course, we get asked all the time, I know you guys get it as much as I do out there, are there any good colleges left? I mean, we know we always hear about the Marxist professors. We see the result of a couple of generations now that have been indoctrinated with leftist philosophy on college campuses across the country. There are so few colleges. But we get asked which ones are out there?

And so we’ve kind of been batting this around, we need to create a list we could put out somewhere. But just some of the colleges that we know still have good leadership and are still turning out good education and not allowing the Marxist indoctrination on their campuses, of course, Arizona Christian University, and we’ll learn more about that one later in the program. But before we get there, there’re some other ones as well. I mean, we still have, obviously, Oral Robert University, Regents, Colorado Christian, what are some other ones you guys know of?

David:

There’s things like Pensacola Christian College, Hardy University had been really strong, College to the Ozarks. There’re several like that. And it’s interesting, Rick…

Rick:

Patrick Henry.

The CCCU

David:

Patrick Henry, right. There’s a group called the CCCU, the Coalition of Christian Colleges in Universities, last I knew there was like 196 of those Christian colleges, universities, and they right now are having a huge battle. They’re really splitting down the middle as an organization over the battle over how many genders are there actually. Now for a Christian college to have a battle over how many genders there are when the Bible is so explicitly clear on that from Genesis all the way through Matthew, what God says in the garden, and what Jesus said to His disciples.

I mean this just not debatable. And yet, they’re having that big debate. So there’s a lot of Christian colleges and universities that we wouldn’t think of sending our kids to. But as you point out there are still some good ones out there and I think probably at the top of that list is Arizona Christian university.

Rick:

Well, and so the President of Arizona Christian University will be with us when we come back from the break. Len Munsil, our special guest, stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In 1963, the United States Supreme Court decided that voluntary Bible reading could no longer be part of the school day. Founding Father Benjamin Rush known as the “Father of Public Schools” under the Constitution pointedly warned that the Bible should be read in schools in reference to all other books. He specifically warned that if America ever ceased promoting biblical principles in schools, then we would waste so much time and money and punishing crimes and take so little pains to prevent them. He was right.

We now have 7 million Americans in prison on probation or on parole, and the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. Sadly, this was unnecessary but is the result of no longer teaching the morals of the Bible in schools.

For more information about the Founding Fathers’ views on the positive impact of the Bible in schools, go to wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Good to have back the President of Arizona Christian University with us Len Munsil back with us. Len, good to have you, brother.

Welcome Len Munsil

Len:

Hey, it’s good to be back with you. Thanks for the invite.

Rick:

Well, you guys continue to do amazing work on that campus. It’s one of the very few that we recommend as we travel around the country, and parents ask us where can I send my kid and they’re not going to get brainwashed and all this CRT stuff? So we’re proud of you, man. Appreciate what you’re doing. I’m a little nervous that you’re ranked so well on US News and World Report also.

Len:

Yeah, that is a little scary, isn’t it?

Rick:

No. You moved up nine slots. That’s fantastic.

Len:

You know, I think we’ve been a little bit below the radar on some things, but yeah, we keep moving up in the rankings. And yet, I think we’re maybe the most conservative Christian university in the country in terms of what our core commitments, what we teach in the classroom, what we practice on our campus. But I don’t think they’ve really figured it out but they’re going to. We have a couple things going on right now, we’re not going to be able to avoid the Thought Police for very long, the totalitarian impulse in our country.

Rick:

You’re certainly not hiding your true colors. You’re definitely a biblical college. And in front of me right here on your homepage talking about some of the cultural research centers for… Of course, we have George Barna on all the time to talk about what you guys are doing there. 

So you’re right on the frontlines of the culture war, no question about it. And I think maybe some of the secular organizations like that, they just see the price value, right. They realize you’re getting a great education for an incredible price. You compare that to the state schools and others, and you go, wow, how in the world are they doing that? It’s just kind of over their head as far as…

Arizona Christian University

Len:

Well, I think it is. And I mean, right now are our little conservative Christian school, we have a graduate who is the head of the Federalist Society at Harvard Law School, who got his major in political science and his minor in Biblical Studies, got a strong Christian biblical worldview, and he is making a difference at one of the most influential places for future judges and leaders of our country, and he came out of Arizona Christian University.

And those are the kinds of graduates that we’re turning out more and more as our reputation grows, and we get more and more great kids coming here because they want to grow in their faith and they want to be a part of the next great move of God. And that’s what we’re open to and that’s what we’re promoting and praying for here at ACU.

Rick:

I know, Len, that parents are listening, students are listening right now and just almost tearing up going okay, there’s an answer, there are schools that still glorify God and give a good education that I can send my kids to. The number one question on everyone’s mind is can I send my kid to Arizona without the melting? So no let us…

Len:

So here’s the great thing. You’re coming to school here September through May and it’s glorious, I mean, we called it ‘Glow season’. You know, ‘Glow season’ here is when on January, on campus, our students are wearing shorts, they’re sitting out in this grassy tree-lined mall area, and they’re sending pictures back to their family in a cold weather climates where they’re in the middle of a blizzard, and they’re out here in the sunshine working on their tan in between classes. That means…

Rick:

Making my mom and dad really want to come to visit, right?

Len:

Well, absolutely. It makes it great for coming to visit. Everybody wants to be in Arizona, especially from October to spring training in March, April. But then you go home for the great weather, you know, June, July, August, you don’t have to be in Phoenix then if you don’t want to be. So it’s a great place to come for school.

Unprecedented Growth

And now we’re recognized by the Council of Christian Colleges as one of the seven fastest-growing Christian colleges in America. Through COVID, when most colleges were losing enrollment, I think because of our mission, we grew 18% then 10%, and then 10% again this year which is unheard of right now, with the college enrollment generally declining especially with COVID. We also had one of the most open campuses in America, maybe the most.

You know, how every university in the country sent their kids home in March of 2020. We didn’t. We never send our kids home. We kept the dining halls open. We kept the library open. We kept the fitness facilities open. Obviously, we did a lot of to try to protect people and certainly didn’t ignore… You know, COVID is a real thing, but we didn’t stop our lives, we didn’t stop our education.

Rick:

You didn’t education.

Len:

We didn’t overreact. And we announced in May of 20, when everybody wasn’t sure exactly what was happening, we said, we’re going to be back in August with face to face classes, and with all of our athletic programs, and we were. So our kids were working on. It was so funny. We’d have teams from California come over to play us, and they’re wearing masks outside on the soccer field. But here’s our kids walking around in the open, nobody’s wearing masks in, and especially outside I mean, come on.

And so it just was different. And like I said, we certainly didn’t ignore it. We certainly didn’t act like it wasn’t real. But we were realistic and saying there’s not a huge threat to young people, and we don’t want their lives to be damaged by shutting them down and not allowing them to have a normal college experience. And so I think our students have one of the most normal college experiences possible during a pandemic. 

And so we’re grateful to God for that. It’s going to be an issue we’re going to have to deal with for quite a while. And yet, we can’t stop businesses. We certainly can’t stop churches. And as a Christian institution, we continue to exercise our constitutional rights to freedom of religion, and freedom of association, and continue to operate through the pandemic.

The Core Curriculum

Rick:

Good for you guys. If you don’t mind, I want to share for parents and students a little bit about your core, the main curriculum that every student regardless of their degree are going to go through. And if I could just read something real quick right off your website because the core element of what you’re teaching is what is really going to make a difference in their lives from now on. 

That’s exactly what it says, “How will the Corps help me live out my face?” So it talks about being able to have discernment, to embrace truth, to understand what’s going on in the culture, to engage, and to transform.

I mean, that is music to my ears, Len, just knowing that you’re raising up citizens that understand those things, biblical citizens that will take this biblical knowledge you’re teaching and apply it to whatever God’s called them to. I mean, they’re going to go into every area of the culture, we know that, so that core curriculum seems essential.

Len:

The core is absolutely essential. It’s the humanities. We essentially take the classics, the great ideas of Western civilization, and we evaluate them in a biblical framework. And we align the teaching of when they’re studying Greece and Rome in the turn of the millennium, at the same time, they’re in the New Testament.

And so we align the teaching of history and great ideas with the same period of scripture of Bible. And we bring it all together in a worldview that helps young people understand why it’s not an accident that this country is the freest, most just, most prosperous culture in the history of the world. It’s because of our biblical foundations. And so we tie all that together for them in the course of four years of education, and then also prepare them well to go into one of the seven mountains or seven spheres of influence in our culture.

That’s what our degree programs are designed to do, is to prepare them with conservative biblical truth, and then set them up to go be leaders. From the time they get here, you know, God created you for a purpose, He wants us to be salt and light, He wants us to live lives of influence for His Kingdom, for the things that are eternal. 

Prepared to Promote the Kingdom

And so we bring that message from the very beginning of their time here all the way through four years of pouring into them these truths academically, but it’s in our athletics program with discipleship, it’s Bible studies, it’s small groups, it’s our music program. All of that is aligned toward bringing them this incredible education that sets them up for a life of flourishing and helping to promote the kingdom of God here on earth as in heaven.

Rick:

And that’s why David wanted so bad to have you on and to talk about this. I know some of our listeners are thinking is this a commercial for Arizona Christian. Arizona Christian didn’t pay us anything. Len didn’t ask to be on the program. We called Len because we are so excited about what you’re doing and we know the need is there. And frankly, a lot of our listeners are asking us constantly, where can I send my kid when they’re not going to be indoctrinated with left-wing philosophy? Where is a good campus experience?

And one of the things I wanted you to speak to, size of campus, I think you guys are right at about 1,000 or just under 1,000 students, so it’s a good size, not so small that you feel like, hey, you and Joe are in all the same classes, just the two of you with one professor, not like that, but also not just lost in a sea of 50,000 kids.

Len:

No, nobody gets lost in the crowd here. But we are growing rapidly. And we were on a landlocked little campus of 20 acres for the first 50 years of the school. And three years ago we had this miracle. We traded that campus to Arizona State University, one of the biggest public universities in the country for a 68-acre campus. 

And added to that this year, we got a significant grift from David and Barbara Green of Hobby Lobby, just two champions of Christianity and business leaders. And because of that, we were able to acquire a YMCA next to campus that’s now our Firestorm Recreation Center.

So we’re now 73 acres. We went over 1,000 students this year. We’ll probably be 1,100-1,200 next year. We’re growing, but we want to maintain that small college field. And the relationships that develop between classmates and between faculty and students are what last. You know, the only things that that last forever, our relationship with God and our relationship with each other, if we know Christ. 

The Firestorm Family

And so that’s what we try to bring here, is that community. The Firestorm Family is what we call it here. And that’s not possible in a school 20,000-30,000. I went to one, it’s just not the same thing. And so it’s a unique experience of kids that get poured into, cared for, known by their name, and then sent out into the world.

Rick:

Arizonachristian.edu is the website. Last thing because this is just where we are in the culture, and a lot of people are going to choose this option. You also have online programs and online studies we do. I’m a homeschool dad. 

My oldest son got his economics degree at 17-years-old because of these kinds of options out there. So I wanted to get you to just touch on that as well for those that may not be able to come physically and attend the school there. But could enroll academically online?

Len:

Absolutely. Yeah. So, at the same website, you can learn about our online programs. Most of the programs that we have in the traditional undergraduate program, also, we make them available online. And with a lot of Christian colleges that like us, for their traditional undergraduates require students to have a statement of faith. That’s a minority of Christian colleges. But the ones that do, a lot of them relax that for their online program. We do not.

So in order to get an online degree from Arizona Christian University, you have to have not only a profession of faith in Jesus Christ but also there’re spiritual formation requirements in addition to your coursework, to grow you as a follower of Christ while you’re getting your degree. But that online program is growing. It’s fairly new for us. But it has been getting better and better every year. And we’ve had a lot of great graduates already come out of our online degree program.

Rick:

Well, Mr. President, I just want you to know this has been difficult for a proud Texan to talk so highly of an Arizona school. But no, I’ve really enjoyed it, Len. Thank you so much for what you all do. God bless you all. Keep up the great work.

The Cultural Research Center

Len:

We love you all. I appreciate it. We love you all in Texas. And actually, we’re in the Sooner Athletic Conference, and so we play Southwest Assemblies of God University, and actually this Saturday, it’s our homecoming, but Texas College out of Tyler, a historically black institution will be here on our campus to take on the ACU Firestorm in small college football, it’s a lot of fun. And so we’re a lot of time back and forth to Texas with our athletic programs.

Rick:

Love it. Well, in fact, we didn’t even get to talk about the athletics, but it’s all there on the website. Folks, arizonachristian.edu. Thank you so much, Len. 

God bless you all keep it up. And let’s get you back here soon. And thanks again for doing the Cultural Research Center. I think that is a gift to the nation what you guys are doing there. So keep up that great work with our buddy George Barna.

Len:

Appreciate it. Yeah. Thank you very much.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Give Your Children Heroes

Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. 

In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks to Len Munsil from Arizona Christian University joining us. Back with David and Tim, and guys, we were talking about, you know, look it’s not all lost right, there are still some good colleges out there. But man, be smart, parents, study those colleges. I remember we were told by one college president one time, go talk to the college president, go ask for a meeting with the college president, and ask about their philosophy before you send your kids there.

So the good news is Arizona Christian, some of those we talked about earlier in the program, that they are out there. And I love the fact that there’s more and more online programs so that you don’t have to spend so much money or be gone for four or five years of your life, but you can start working on whatever career you really want to be in, go, intern, go get an apprenticeship with somebody.

Practical Degrees

Tim:

Yeah. And I really appreciated the fact as he pointed out at their university, where they emphasize the seven mountains, and whatever degree you get it is to help you be able to step into God’s calling in your life in those seven mountains. And so, one of the things that we’ve seen for universities is that so often they are educating people on things that are not practical use for them when they get into the real world and get into real-life experience looking for jobs.

There’s only so many jobs for people who get a degree in gender studies, right. And I’m using that as kind of a funny example. But that’s the reality. There are so many things we do in education that don’t make a lot of sense, where if you even look in the field of counseling psychology–

I know several years ago, they had some numbers come out from counseling psychology that there was approximately 100,000 jobs in the field of counseling psychology, and they identified that every single year at universities throughout the nation, approximately 100,000 people graduate with a degree in the field of counseling psychology. 

That’s untenable. If you get a job there, that there’s not a market big enough for you to enter and is not going to sustain you. And…

David:

Yeah, because there’s 100,000 they’re already in it, they’re going to be in it for 20 years, they’re going to make a career out of it. So if you really only looking at something like maybe 5,000 to 6,000 to 7,000 a year that are needed, and the universities are pumping out 100,000 kids a year.

Tim:

Yeah, you might get a 10-15%, you might get 10-15% that get in that their year or two out of college. But the point is so many people are getting degrees in things that aren’t the most practical for them and they haven’t really done the research or analyzation before to know. And this is where Arizona Christian, when they say hey, you know, here’s the big picture. 

Attaining a Biblical Worldview

God has called and gifted and equipped you to go certain directions. We will help further that equipping and gifting, develop that in you. But there are seven areas of influence. And we want you to get involved in that.

And I love the fact even as he pointed out that they have a student at Harvard right now leaving the Federal Society at Harvard, and this student graduated with a Pol Sci. degree but a minor in Biblical Studies. And it reminded me I went to Bible College, and I graduated with a business degree, but I had a minor in Biblical Studies because everyone was required to take enough Bible classes that when you graduated, you could get a minor in Biblical studies. That’s just part of what the degree program was.

And certainly, when you have a university that is emphasizing your students getting a biblical worldview, understanding the Bible, understanding the application of the Bible so much so that even when the online students have to agree to the same faith basics that everybody on campus does, it really is very revealing that this is a university that has intentional about laying a foundation in biblical worldview.

And you know, guys, before the interview, we mentioned several universities that we recognize as good universities. There’s probably other universities. If we were thinking and writing out a list, we probably come up with a few other universities because I can already imagine there’s some people listening and actually probably some of our friends who may be already even on staff at some of the universities we left out; if we forgot you, I apologize. It was not intentional. You guys are awesome too.

But there are some good universities. It’s just the good universities now, you can just about count on a couple hands. There are not very many really solid, biblically-based universities left which makes something like Arizona Christian even that much more special.

David:

One of the things at Arizona Christian that I think is so phenomenal is that they have every year every student takes a worldview survey to see what their worldview is. And every year they expect the students to become more biblical in their worldview. But here’s what’s so unique, is they also require all of their professors to have that same biblical worldview test. And the professors have to have a biblical worldview as well. And I don’t know of any other university that does that with professors.

A Growing Opportunity

I’ve talked to a couple of presidents recently who said, oh, yeah, we need to do that to our professors. And I remember doing this with one university president who did it and was shocked at how few of his professors, even though they were Christians, how few had a biblical worldview. And that really is something super significant is to have a biblical worldview.

And quite frankly, you know, that would make me a little nervous to have a biblical worldview test because they go, yeah, but what if it shows that I don’t have a really good biblical worldview? And I was thinking about that says yeah, but you know, that’s exactly what I need to know. If I don’t have a biblical worldview in an area, I need to know it.

And there’s a passage in James 1 that talks about the guy who goes and looks in the mirror, and he sees what he is, and he sees the blemishes on his face, and he sees his hair is messed up, he sees he got dirt all over his nose, but he didn’t do anything about it, just walks off, not paying attention to what’s there. It’s a really good thing for all of us to be confronted with what we really do and don’t know biblically. 

That’s a growing opportunity for everyone. And even though it’s a little pressure, makes nervous and kind of even embarrassed that you might not be where you think you are is still a great thing to know. That’s looking in the mirror in James.

The wise man looks in the mirror and sees what needs to be changed and goes out and change that. And that’s what I really like about Arizona Christian, is they are into testing and measuring, not only academic results, because Tim, as you pointed out, they get some of the top academic kids across the nation. We were talking to Len a few months ago, and he was telling us how many of his kids have gone on to be top in areas like at Harvard over the Federalist Society.

Where Are The Good Colleges? – With Len Munsil, President of ACU

So it’s good to know where you can grow, where you can be stronger, and that’s a good thing for all of us. So biblical worldview is something that we all should be willing to look at and change where we need to and get more biblical in all aspects. And Arizona Christian University certainly does that.

Rick:

Well, I like what you’re saying, even it’s kind of that constant and never-ending improvement always looking for how we can serve our spouse better, our employees or employer or whatever, just always looking to do better and do that Colossians thing of everything we do we do the best we can as to God, not to man, and that includes how we think in our worldview. And are we being influenced by the culture? Are we being influenced by the Bible and then influencing the culture? And that’s what they’re doing at ACU, but we all need to do that, for sure.

And one of the best ways to do that is listen to WallBuilders Live. We’re sure glad you did that with us today and hope you’ll join us again throughout the week, Monday through Friday for WallBuilders Live. And then share it with your friends and family. Check it out at wallbuilderslive.com. If you missed some programs, you want to share those as well. Thanks so much for listening today to WallBuilders Live.