When it comes to applying to faith-based colleges, it can be hard to decide what to submit on your résumé. Personally, I’m Christian and have considered Christian colleges where faith is involved in teaching and day-to-day campus life. Through my research, I’ve found the admission process is a little different compared to secular colleges with different areas of focus. A Christian college admission committee may ask why you are considering a faith-based school compared to a traditional college. Your résumé and application will showcase a lot of your reasoning if you include the right things. Here’s a quick guide to give you suggestions on what to include—just fill in your specific information along the way!
Show your passion with extracurriculars
Extracurriculars show colleges who you are and what you love to do. Do any of your extracurricular activities involve faith? Do you play any sports? Have you taken on a leadership position in a club or organization? Show admission officers your passions through your résumé. Keep in mind that quality is preferred over quantity; if you’ve been dedicated to one club and are genuinely passionate about it, that's great! If it makes you happy, keep at it. Don’t worry about not having many extracurriculars on your résumé—just find something you like and keep doing it. If you do a lot of things, that's okay too. I used to play many sports and I have many hobbies—it doesn’t mean I sacrificed quality. If you do many things, show that you’re passionate about every single one and the quality is there—admission officers will be able to tell.
Now think about whether you do any activities that solely involve faith. For example, do you attend a Bible study, join in on a prayer group, or are part of a worship team? Try to show that you’re interested in learning more and enjoy a community of faith. If you don’t participate in any faith-based activities, consider incorporating your faith into your other hobbies or sports. If they are open to it, you could invite your friends or teammates to attend church, group activities, or church-related gatherings. You could also volunteer alongside them at a church or secular event as a way of team building. Additionally, you can connect Bible lessons and how they might apply to the sport or challenge you are currently facing. These are all great ways to integrate your beliefs into other aspects of your life.
Volunteering can show colleges how invested you are in helping other people. Do you try to spread the word of God when you volunteer? How often do you volunteer? What organization(s) do you volunteer with? Why do you volunteer? These are great questions to consider when you’re writing your résumé. Be sure to list all the times you’ve volunteered and what you did. And when you answer those questions, be truthful and honest. One of the most important is “why.” I get it—when asked about volunteering, a lot of my friends say stuff like, "It's required." But it's important to think about what you learn from each volunteer experience and how you can use it to help others. Reflection like this can help you honestly answer the “why” question and make your college applications stronger.
Where to find opportunities
If you're looking for extracurricular or volunteer opportunities, beyond your school, I suggest checking out your church or one that you've been curious about. Churches often have a lot of ways to volunteer and give back to the community. You could help out at your church's trunk-or-treat, volunteer at Vacation Bible School, or even hand out pamphlets and Bibles. You can also look for positions and activities at local nonprofit organizations, hospitals, animal shelters, or community centers. Websites such as VolunteerMatch, Idealist, and Points of Light (formally All for Good) are other good resources to help you find opportunities in your area. Don't be shy—reach out and see how you can make a difference!
Hopefully, these tips help you build a great résumé for college or spark an idea on how you can make yours stand out. Remember to stay faithful to your religion, participate in activities, and try volunteering—you won’t regret it!
Still looking for schools to apply to? Check out our featured Christian colleges in the North, South, East, and West—they’re looking to connect with impressive students like you!