Originally Posted: Jul 30, 2011
Last Updated: May 4, 2016
Should you attend a Christian college or university? This question has probably entered your mind more than once since you started your college search. If you have yet to consider it, then perhaps it’s time you should.
One way to address this question is to think about what you might lose if you decided not to go to a Christian college or university. What if you missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime? Attending a Christian college has many advantages that you may not be aware of, such as a godly perspective on how you can grow socially, spiritually, in service, and scholastically.
A college’s social atmosphere and sense of community are two of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a school. You don’t want to go to a school where you feel like you don’t fit in or you feel like you blend in with everyone around you. Instead, you should go to a school where you feel a sense of belonging. You can find that at a Christian college or university because they make developing a sense of community and fellowship with those around you priorities.
For example, joining a prayer group or club is a great way to find your niche. Or, if you are interested in music, you can join the choir or worship team. If you are interested in writing and design, many schools offer newspaper and yearbook clubs. If athletics is more your thing, you can become a member of an intercollegiate or intramural team. You can also participate in community events that will help you build lasting friendships, such as chapel services and dorm events. Basically, you will find the same social environment as any other college, but with an added commitment to fellowship and faith.
When you attend a Christian college or university, your faith and spiritual life are not only important to you, but also to the people around you. You will live with and learn from people who share your beliefs and values. You will be encouraged to grow in your relationship with God and in other areas of your life. The school will not be a place where your beliefs and religious preferences are ignored or discouraged. Instead, you will have the freedom to openly share your ideas and opinions about your faith and other topics.
Another feature that you will find at Christian colleges and universities is chapel. Chapel is essentially a church service that is held on campus and lead by students, faculty, and staff. It provides you with the opportunity to worship corporately with your dormmates, classmates, professors, and the school’s staff; to reflect on your life; and to continue to learn about God and your relationship with Him.
Most Christian colleges and universities prioritize a service-minded outlook and a heart for helping others—whether on campus, in your community, or globally. One great way to serve on campus is to be a part of residence or dorm life, such as being a resident assistant, a prayer group leader, or a small group leader. As a resident assistant, you can help plan dorm and floor events, like movie nights, service projects, and weekend trips that will bring you and the people you live with closer together. Being a prayer or small group leader will give you the opportunity to develop personal relationships with those around you. Being a part of residence life helps you create a safe, comfortable, and inviting atmosphere for those who live in your dorm.
If you want to take an active role in improving campus life for your fellow students, then becoming a part of student government might be right for you. You will be able to voice the concerns of fellow students by acting as a liaison between them and the school’s administration. You will also gain leadership skills and develop relationships with staff, faculty, and students. You will be a part of positive change.
Something else you may want to consider is finding a job on campus. For example, if you are interested in graphic or website design, ask someone who works in the marketing department if they need any student staff. You can also look into becoming a tutor or teacher’s assistant. Working while you go to school is a great way to earn some extra money while gaining valuable work experience.
Serving the community where your school is located is a valuable outreach tool. Christian schools provide many opportunities, such as participating in community clean-up events or days of service. You can also volunteer at organizations like your local Habitat for Humanity, soup kitchens, rescue missions, schools, mentor programs, or churches. It is up to you to make the effort to reach out to those who need it the most.
Perhaps social justice/action is more your calling. Some schools have clubs that focus on meeting the needs of those who are suffering from discrimination. Most Christian colleges and universities also provide many opportunities to go on mission trips overseas and across the United States. If you don’t feel called to go into the mission field, you can support the school’s mission teams financially or by praying for their safety and work while they are serving.
No matter what school you go to, scholarship is important. At a Christian college or university, you will have the advantage of learning how the major you are studying integrates with your Christian world-view. Your education will not be based solely on subject matter and practices that are important from a worldly perspective; it will also be connected to your spiritual life. You will have the chance to take an active stance on controversial issues in class and hear what other people think. You will receive a holistic education in a positive learning environment.
A key part of any successful college learning experience is your professors. At a Christian college or university, you will learn from friendly, knowledgeable professors who are highly qualified and acknowledged in their field of study, just like you would if you attended a secular school. The difference is your professors will share your passion for learning about and serving the Lord. They will give you knowledge that applies not only to your field of study, but also to your faith.
One academic advantage of attending a Christian college or university is that most offer a small, personal learning environment. A smaller class size allows for more student-faculty interaction and helps you get to know your professors more personally. Your professors will teach you to grow mentally and give you the education that will help you to become successful in your chosen career. They will challenge you to think critically about your faith and other areas of study.
If you choose to go to a Christian college or university, you will be a vital part of a community where your Christian beliefs and morals are upheld and valued by those around you. You will have the opportunity to grow holistically and develop into the person God created you to be. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have a unique, memorable, life-changing experience.