To Lighthouse Trails:
I am a graduating senior thinking about attending California Baptist University in Riverside, CA. I did not see this college on your list of emergent colleges. However, it was also not on the list of colleges that are safe to attend. I was just wondering what research you had about that college.
Cal Baptist is one of those we were watching to see if they would indeed go in the direction of embracing contemplative/spiritual formation. After doing some current research because of your letter, we have decided they should be added to our list of schools that promote spiritual formation. This increase in their focus on that is at least partly due to their having membership through organizations that emphasize and encourage spiritual formation (such as CCCU – see our 2011 article: “An Epidemic of Apostasy – Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited“). Another example of where CalBaptist is bringing it in is in their Intercultural Studies program where they are using textbooks by several contemplative/emerging figures: Richard Foster, Shane Claiborne, Dallas Willard, N.T. Wright, Kenneth Boa, and Madame Guyon – these would all be considered heavy weights in the contemplative/emerging movement). Cal Baptist also has had some connections with the “Christian” environmentalist movement (http://www.calbaptist.edu/uploadedfiles/news/green_awakenings.pdf), a movement that has the definite influences by emerging church figures (such as Shane Claiborne).
These are just a few examples of why we say Cal Baptist is a Christian school that is promoting contemplative/spiritual formation. If you do attend this school, we hope you will read A Time of Departing, Faith Undone, and Castles in the Sand so you will be better prepared to spot this very dangerous deception. It is indeed there at Cal Baptist, and if it does what we have seen so many other schools do, it will only increase going in this direction with time. Schools that do not take an active biblical approach to keep it from coming in almost always succumb to it.
Editors at Lighthouse Trails
Note: On October 29th, 2012, Cal Baptist University was added to the Lighthouse Trails list of Christian schools that are promoting spiritual formation.