Grace Thornton/The Alabama Baptist
TROY, Ala. (BP) -- A state university has become the first in Alabama to offer a faith-based dorm to students who meet certain requirements, such as a 2.5 GPA and a letter of recommendation from a minister or other community leader.
The dorm, which opened in August at Troy University, has brought both praise and criticism.
"Over time, our students indicated in surveys that their interest in faith and spiritual issues is very high compared to students across the land," said John W. Schmidt, Troy's senior vice chancellor for advancement and external relations. In building the dorms, Schmidt said, the university was "meeting a need for student housing but also satisfying some of our student requirements."
Initially university spokespersons had indicated that the Newman Center would give preference to Christian students but Schmidt said that idea has since been rescinded.
"The housing is open to all faiths, even to those who don't have a faith," Schmidt said, explaining that atheism is a kind of faith, "a faith that there is no God." The dorm is intended to foster a community of discussion and diversity, he said.
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