Belmont University (Baptist): Emergent book more popular than Bible

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“Belmont seeks broader identity”
Baptists say school has left religious roots

Staff Writer

At Belmont University, the new religion is change.

Enrollment is the highest ever. As soon as one residence hall is completed, another goes up. Students and faculty call President Bob Fisher “Bob the Builder,” for his drive toward the school’s master plan….

Many students say they came for Belmont’s programs, not its affiliation. A pedestrian can pass by eight, 10 or 12 cars in parking lots on campus and not spot a Tennessee license plate, a testament to the draw of Music Row and the school’s music-industry emphasis.

“I would probably say it’s music business over religion,” said sophomore Claire Warner when asked how she would best describe Belmont….

On the school’s Facebook Web page, “God” comes in third in top student interests. (First is “Music,” followed by “Singing.”) The most popular book on campus is not the Bible, but Blue Like Jazz by Christian author Donald Miller, a leader in the emerging church movement that draws away from fundamentalism, as the state convention becomes more conservative. (Source:

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