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The 10 Most Liberal Episcopal Colleges in America

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 04:56 PM

Episcopal colleges and university have served U.S. communities for more than 100 years. Although the number of Episcopal Christian colleges has declined, a small consortium of schools tied to the Episcopal Church continue to educate students.

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Once under the umbrella of the Association of Episcopal Colleges, these institutions are now part of a global network of Anglican colleges and universities called the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC).

The U.S. Episcopal Church has trended liberal in its theological and social stances in recent years on such issues as ordination of female and gay and lesbian clergy, membership of homosexuals and lesbians and support of same-sex marriage. These controversial positions have contributed to the denomination’s shrinking membership of churches. According to Belief Net, there are 20 times more Baptists than Episcopalians in the U.S.

Like the Episcopal Church, Episcopal colleges are generally progressive in their doctrinal positions and their stances on social issues. The fact that these schools reflect the church’s theological shift is not surprising because of the denomination’s support for these institutions. Here is a list of 10 liberal Episcopal universities and colleges in America.

1. Bard College
Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, among its programs is a concentration on gender and sexuality studies that covers LGBT issues.

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2. St. Paul’s College
The Lawrenceville, Virginia, school, founded in 1882, fully supports the Episcopal Church’s leftward leanings in its theological positions.

3. Trinity College
The Hartford, Connecticut, institution is the second-oldest college in the state after Yale. Its pluralistic programming offers the Queer Resource Center for LGBT students and promotes a range of religious student groups, including Muslim and Buddhist.

4. St. Augustine College
This bilingual, Chicago-based institution is Episcopal in name only and not in any religious practice, according to its website.

5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
In 2002, the Geneva, New York, school became the first university in the United States offer LGBT studies in its curriculum. For the last three years, it has been “recognized as a leader for its LGBT-inclusive policies, programs and practices,” according to its website.

6. Kenyon College
The Gambier, Ohio, school heavily emphasizes diversity in its curriculum, spirituality and student life opportunities, such as the Unity House for acceptance of LGBTQA students.

7. Clarkson College
The Omaha, Nebraska, school has set up a Diversity Council to promote equality among students of all religions, sexual practices and races, according to its website.

8. University of the South
Founded in Sewanee, Tennessee, this college features a school of theology.

9. St. Augustine’s College
This historically black college in Raleigh, North Carolina, was founded in 1867 as an Episcopal school for freed slaves.

10. Voorhees College
Located in Denmark, South Carolina, this predominantly African-American college is one of the least liberal Episcopal institutions in America, but makes the list due to the dearth of Episcopalian colleges still in existence.

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Episcopal colleges and university have served U.S. communities for more than 100 years. Although the number of Episcopal Christian colleges has declined, a small consortium of schools tied to the Episcopal Church continue to educate students.
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