The Slow Death Of A Christian College

By Ray Cardello for July 5, 2024, Season 27 / Post 21

Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) is one of eleven Nazarene colleges and universities worldwide. Unfortunately, Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts, is closing its doors after nearly 125 years of offering a Christian-based education to thousands of students from New England and beyond. I do not have a direct connection to ENC, but my life partner and many generations of her family were raised in the Nazarene religion and educated at ENC. More than a dozen of her extended family members received degrees from this small college on Boston’s south shore. They are saddened by the sudden decision to close the school but saw its demise coming over the last five years. ENC has lost its way since 2017, and decisions by its Board have brought a self-inflicted end to the school’s traditions and, finally, to the institution itself.

Reading through its website hints at the reasons for the end of ENC in its current form and its future direction. To be blunt, and after talking to many of my partner’s family, I see this situation as a case of “Death by Wokeness.” The terms transformational and diverse appear often, and it is the philosophy associated with these terms that brought about the demise of an institution, sadness and dismay of its alums, abandonment of its current students, and life-changing implications for its nearly 350 employees and staff. The Board chose DEI and Wokeness over the traditions of the rather strict Nazarene faith and tradition, and the decisions proved fatal for ENC.

According to the ENC website:

The Board of Trustees of Eastern Nazarene College has voted unanimously to begin the process of closing ENC and transitioning it into a new educational enterprise that will carry on ENC’s legacy of providing a transformational education that equips diverse students to lead and serve our world as agent of Christ’s love and truth.

As ENC enters enter this season of transition, the Board and administration are focused on caring for the present, honoring the past, and ensuring a vibrant future. ENC is committed to communicating with stakeholders in a timely and transparent way to ensure those most affected by this transition have the information and support they need.

Grammarly nearly crashed at the issues it had with those two paragraphs. It appears that the new ENC Enterprise will be in the form of scholarships it will offer to students attending other schools approved by or associated with the Board of Directors. It appears this is how the Board has decided to divest the school’s endowment of nearly $18 million. Decisions have not been made on the future of the buildings and real estate owned by the school, but in the near term, the facilities will be used to house some of the illegal migrants that have been transported to the Boston area. This decision does not sit well with the current Mayor of Quincy, who cites the increase in crime at the campus and the tremendous attention that the Quincy police department now needs.

The decision to transform the campus into a migrant shelter and the introduction of the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship created in 2020 are but two of the elements that brought on the drop in enrollment and decrease in contributions. The move to be a more Woke and diverse culture may have cost the school dearly. They did, however, refuse to allow an LGBTQ group to associate with the school because of the Nazarene views on homosexuality. So the Board had not lost all of its senses, just enough to snuff the life out of nearly 125 years of tradition.

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