Choosing a college can be a daunting experience for many high school students. Between college fairs, counselors, teachers, and scholarships, the onslaught of information is overwhelming — and picking the best option for the next four years can seem like an impossible task.
For Christian students, deciding on a school can be even more challenging, as honoring God with every decision is of the utmost importance. Because of this, many Christian students at some point consider the question, “Should I attend a Christian college?”
It is, of course, possible to glorify God and grow in one’s faith in a secular academic setting, and whether or not you should attend a Christian college depends on a wide variety of factors. However, as you prepare for this new phase of your life, consider the benefits of attending a Christian college before making a decision. College is an exciting time of growth, development, and change, and how you choose to spend this formative time will leave a lasting impact.
Here are five reasons you should consider participating in Christian higher education.
1. Christian Colleges Promote a Christ-Like, Faith-Centered Community
The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of community and how it breeds resilience, fosters encouragement, and creates accountability. In Hebrews 10:24-25 the Apostle Paul writes, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
At a Christian college, students will hopefully be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share their faith, challenge them as you mature in their spiritual walk, help them tackle issues from a biblical perspective, and faithfully pray for one another. College is a time to develop important character habits that will last the rest of one’s life, and a Christ-centered community can help foster and develop those patterns.
The numbers speak for themselves; Christian colleges scored well on The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education 2018 list of colleges and universities where students feel the most inspired by their peers.
“Peers are the single most important influential group on campus in terms of how students spend their time, what classes they take, how much they study and what habits they pick up,” George Kuh, a professor of educational policy at Indiana University, told the Journal. “Peers matter big time, they shape a student’s experience.”
Given these statistics, why not surround yourself with positive, uplifting peers for the next four years?
2. Christian Colleges Address Cultural Issues From a Biblical Perspective
In today’s culture of moral relativism and postmodern philosophy, it’s important to understand hot-button issues like gender identity, religious liberty, and sanctity of life issues from a biblical perspective — an opportunity Christian colleges provide. When students are taught how to think critically about relevant issues and apply a biblical viewpoint to them, they are able to effectively engage with culture (John 17:14–16) while standing firm in their faith (1 Timothy 6:12) and combating the idols of our time (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Unlike secular universities, Christian colleges provide an education that incorporates faith into academics.
What we learn, study, and absorb impacts our worldview; Colossians 2:8 warns about secular philosophies that can captivate your mind: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
The WSJ/THE rankings earlier mentioned also ranked a number of Christian universities — including Dordt College, Baylor University, California Baptist University, Harding University, and Oral Roberts University — highest in terms of student engagement. Within this category, the rankings considered students’ engagement in learning and critical thinking, the level of interaction that students have with faculty and other students while on campus, and the number of subjects and accredited programs available.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett