When Columbia University was founded as King’s College in 1754 on the grounds of Trinity Church in Manhattan, New York, no one could have imagined how it would devolve into a hotbed of antisemitic, anti-Israel protests in 2024.

Columbia University faculty and students alike have joined into the anti-Jewish protests and occupations that have taken over Columbia’s campus. Some of these protesters have physically and verbally assaulted Jewish students. They praise Hamas – despite the terrorist groups’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that killed 1,200 Israeli civilians, kidnapped 250 more and sexual assaulted hundreds of women.

Make no bones about it, Columbia University has been overtaken by a radical, antisemitic ideology that has been fueled and supported by the university’s faculty, who aren’t ashamed to support the protesters.

Columbia University has been subsumed by the radical Left; the university is no longer recognizable from its distinctly Christian founding.

In fact, the university’s first president, Samuel Johnson, was a philosopher, historian and Congregationalist clergyman turned Anglican priest.

Johnson had no qualms expressing Columbia’s distinctly Christian mission. He described Columbia University’s mission in stark and clear terms – terms that most of its students, faculty, administrators, and president today would not understand.

Samuel Johnson declared:

The chief thing that is aimed at in this college is to teach and engage the [students] to know God in Jesus Christ, and to love and serve Him in all sobriety, godliness, and righteousness of life, with a perfect heart, and a willing mind; and to train them up in all virtuous habits and all such useful knowledge as may render them creditable to their families and friends, ornaments to their country, and useful to the public weal in their generations.

It’s difficult to imagine Columbia – and many other colleges and universities today – having such a Christ-centered mission statement. And yet, Columbia’s first president clearly and cogently expressed that vision around 270 years ago.

Perhaps part of the reason Columbia has devolved so far is because its students and faculty have forgotten the source of all wisdom and knowledge: God.

We read in Proverbs 1:7,

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction
” (ESV).

One could easily observe that the first line describes Columbia in 1754 while the second line describes Columbia in 2024.

As Christians, we believe that God is the source of all wisdom, knowledge and understanding. In a very real sense, “all truth is God’s truth.” Those who forget God cut themselves off from the foundation of all knowledge and understanding. And whose who reject Jesus Christ deny the very author of all truth.

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6, ESV).

It’s tragic that Columbia, and many of America’s supposedly most reputable institutions, have been so thoroughly captured by radicals. Thankfully, there are still several Christian colleges and universities that teach true wisdom and understanding and prepare their students for life after graduation.

If your teenager is preparing to pick a college, we’ve compiled a helpful list of some Christian institutions you may want to investigate. You can also check out some of our helpful articles and resources below.

To learn more about the Christian faith, check out C.S. Lewis’ classic Mere Christianity. You can also listen to Focus on the Family’s award winning Radio Theater: C.S. Lewis at War.

If you want to better understand the Bible and be part of God’s redemptive mission, check out RVL Discipleship: The Study.

To speak with a family help specialist or request resources, please call us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).

Related articles and resources:

Mere Christianity

RVL Discipleship: The Study

Help Your Student Choose the Right College: A University President Offers Guidance

Choosing a College

Helping Your Teen Choose a College

The American Flag, Frat Boys, and the Nation’s Hunger for Courage

College Faculty Voice Support for Antisemitic Protests

A Stunning Contrast of Two University Lawns: Liberty & Columbia, Light vs Darkness

Jewish Students Urged to Flee Columbia University Following Antisemitic Protest

Campus Protests Expose Antisemitic Rot in Academia

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