How does campus life differ on a Christian college campus from a secular campus?

John ChopkaJohn Chopka
Vice President for Enrollment Management

Messiah College
While most colleges offer students a chance to explore issues of faith, a Christian college incorporates that process into their curriculum and sees that it is an obvious part of life on campus. For example, a student at a Christian college will likely have the opportunity to take a course in Bible and/or theology as part of a core curriculum. My institution, Messiah College, even offers a course entitled “Created and Called for Community” that facilitates living in a Christian community. Education outside of the classroom includes chapel services, service learning, and Bible studies. There are also a lot of informal conversations with faculty and peers about issues of faith. Students really grow through all that a Christian College offers in this regard!

Brenda J. MyrthilBrenda J. Myrthil
Associate Dean for Student Programming
Roberts Wesleyan College

Campus life on a Christian college campus is filled with many of the same challenges and opportunities that a secular campus brings: course work, relationships, budgets, time management, and a future of possibilities. However, there is one fundamental difference. On a Christian campus, students, staff, and faculty all experience a connection and share a baseline . . . faith in Jesus Christ. This is not to say that every student, staff and faculty member at a Christian college is an evangelical Christian, but it is safe to say that they all have an understanding of the Christian faith, which often includes many different denominations. The pursuit of knowledge and goals is coupled with the Christian world-view in the classroom, residence hall, recreation center, and in the career office. Most Christian colleges do not offer a blueprint with precise “drawings” of how your life is to be lived, but instead offer an atlas with a few “road signs” to help guide you along the way. Students make good choices and poor choices on every college campus—Christian or secular. There are rewards and consequences, friendships and hardships, passions and dreams. Through their faith, students on a Christian campus can share their experiences from the same baseline.

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