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A Time To Speak

In this bright future, you can't forget your past.

Bob Marley


Chapter Twelve

In which the reminiscing takes a peculiar turn

John

I loved logging onto the Victor's page and finding out about things that were happening on campus. The arrival of the internet had made everything about the school a lot more transparent than it had been back when I attended.

Victors

is the future of FCU? Will it have to close like several other fundamentalist Christian colleges have, or will it reinvent itself for a changing demographic and become more mainstream?


Stan

There is no mainstream when it comes to churches and schools like FCU. It's their way or the highway. I predict that FCU will close within five years. Their student body is only about half the size of what it was when I was there.


I know this isn't politically correct to say, but Stan was a serious scale-tipper. I mean, he was seriously overweight. It's obvious even in his tiny profile pic on Facebook, and even more obvious in his cover image, which shows him sitting on his couch with an oversized bag of Doritos in his lap. I could have said something right here about how the school was only half of what it used to be because Stan wasn't there anymore, but I wasn't going to go there. I do have some standards.

Neville

The school's enrollment has been declining for years, if not decades. As it becomes more and more out of touch with the larger society, it will become less and less relevant. We may be looking at the demise of FCU.


Regina

What are you hearing about their enrollment this year?


Neville

When I was a student, there were 800 students in my graduating class, and about five thousand undergraduate students altogether. I believe this year they have approximately 3,500 undergraduate students.


Craig

They're doing better than I expected, then. They still have more students than Servant's College. There are a lot more Christian colleges available to go to than when all of us were at FC. More competition = fewer students for FCU.


Starr

Foothills will go into a long, slow decline in the years to come as more and more students begin to see the rotten fruit falling from a corrupt tree. Eventually I see it downgrading from a university to just one college with a limited range of majors, and then becoming just another overpriced Bible college.


Faith

My youngest child is just starting his junior year there. He reports that there are just two or three students to a room, which is different than when I was there. Back in my day we usually had four girls in a room, and I heard of some rooms with five.


Mitch

I was back on campus last week to visit a family member. The atmosphere is dreary. The students look so discouraged, as if they know the end is near.


John

I think there's always going to be a place for fundamentalist colleges or universities in this country, no matter what religion they may be. I mean there's Mormon colleges, Jewish colleges, even Muslim colleges, so why not fundamentalist Christian colleges?


Regina

But Foothills is unique among fundamentalist Christian colleges. Every other fundamentalist Christian college in the U.S. ties into FCU somehow. Name another fundy college and then look at their founder and top administrators. In every case you'll find that they went to Foothills at some point, and a lot of their faculty were also trained at Foothills, or else their faculty went to another Christian college that operates just like Foothills and is led by FCU grads. They use Foothills Christian Academy textbooks for their own Christian grade schools and get visiting evangelists from that approved list of evangelists that FCU puts out. FCU is like an octopus-it has tentacles reaching everywhere. If you cut down the beast at the center, all the arms will die too.


Katrina

Some of the other "tentacles" from that "octopus" are actually growing a little bit. Not many, but some. The ones that are growing are the ones that have changed to adapt to the world today, like allowing some more modern Christian music on campus.


Starr

Why would you want to "cut down the beast", Regina? Are you that angry about how your time at the school ended?


Regina

I don't want to cut them down. I was involved with the school for a long time. Some of the faculty members are still good friends of mine. I'm just pointing out how connected it all is.


Peter

Yes, it's an ugly octopus, with arms reaching out all over the place. It's not just eight arms. It's thousands of arms if you count all the churches that toe the party line and preach exactly what FCU tells them to preach, and pack their precious little college kiddos off to FCU every fall, so some of them (only the guys) can graduate as preacher students and found more little FCU churches. The whole thing is sick and rotten to the core. But even though it's rotten, it won't die. We're not that lucky.


John

Damn, Peter. Who peed in your Cheerios this morning?


A new member posted then. Lee, a guy who had graduated from the school and managed to have more FIC family members than even Win did. I had seen him introduce himself over in the Introduce Yourself thread.

Lee

Not all fundy Christian colleges tie in to FCU. Where I grew up, in California, nobody in my church had ever even heard of Foothills. My pastors knew about it, but none of the church members did, and none of the other kids in my Christian school even knew the name.


Win

They must tie in somehow. Everything goes back to FCU sooner or later.


Lee

Maybe everything fundy that's on the east coast does, but the FCU influence goes away a lot as you get further and further away. There are other popular leaders and groups, even Christian colleges, in other parts of the country, but if you didn't grow up in that part of the country you may not have heard of them.


Starr

Are they all as strict as Foothills?


Peter

Yeah, do they all make money off of oppressing college kids too?


Lee

No, most of them aren't as strict. In fact if I tell grads from those schools about the dating rules at FCU, they think I'm making it up. But they're still fundy colleges.


Regina

If they're not in the FCU sphere of influence, then they're not really fundy at all. You shouldn't call them that.


Lee

That's what they call themselves. They are fundamentalists, just like FICS are fundamentalists. There's really no theological differences between them, they just operate in totally different areas, and they don't especially influence each other.


Katrina

Everything, EVERYTHING in the fundy world is tied into FCU. Don't even try to deny it.


John

Fundies are fundies no matter where you run into them. The name on the door doesn't matter.


Neville

I understand that Servant's actually considered allowing a guitar to be played during chapel one day this year, and to sing a couple of worship choruses along with it. The board shot down the idea as being too modern.


Peter

Translation: we'll lose too many core students.


Alecia

We're actually beginning to consider the same thing for our chapel services. There's a strong chance it will be allowed starting next semester.


Stan

Great, you're finally starting to move into the 1960's! Watch out, you'll lose half your student body in protest. Kids will end up transferring to Servant's because of your liberal worship style.


Peter

Good, the sooner FU shuts down, the better.