When you select a university to attend, it may have most of the things you’re looking for but maybe not everything. For instance, there are many students who identify with and practice a particular religion, but many of them may not attend a university that’s affiliated with their faith. In the case of Christian students, this change may be different from the environment you’ve grown up in. If you’re a part of this group, you’re not alone! The good news is there are various steps you can take to connect your Christian faith with what you learn at a non-religious college.
Connect academic topics to scripture
For any Christian, the Bible is an important part of your faith. In fact, many individuals view it as a manual that contains the answers and guidance to your life questions. What better way to incorporate faith while learning than to tie academic material in with scripture? An initial connection may be made quickly, but the process of really exploring these connections requires some time and thought. First, choose a topic you’re learning that you’d like to have a deeper connection to. This could include a range of material, from the liberal arts to the sciences. Then observe which facts or patterns in the academic text can be compared to scripture.
For an English course, this could include topics such as poetry and elements such as writing styles, vocabulary, and literary techniques. These elements could be found within a book of the Bible like the Psalms, which contains beautifully written poetry that displays a range of emotions. Another example could be when learning about history or geography. There are important historical figures who’ve impacted the Christian faith, and many of them are discussed in scripture. Certain areas of the world as well as genealogies could also be connected to specific Biblical figures, one being Paul the Apostle. By connecting your college course material to biblical information, your academic experience will be enhanced and faith-based learning can occur at the same time.
Another important aspect of faith is prayer. For Christians, prayer is a form of communication and an element that strengthens one’s relationship with God. Prayer can be incorporated throughout various areas in a student’s life. When there’s an upcoming exam or a difficult or time-consuming assignment, prayer is a good stress-relieving tool. Whenever you’re sitting in class, you can quietly communicate with God through prayer right at your desk about a certain point your professor may have mentioned. Overall, prayer is a beneficial implementation that can positively influence a student’s mental health, focus, and performance while in college.
Take a class in theology or philosophy
Even if a college’s profile isn’t associated with a particular faith, there may still be classes on theology or philosophy that are available. Students who are interested in these classes can gain insight into aspects of other religions as well as their own. Christian students should be on the lookout for classes that’ll prove to be beneficial for strengthening their faith, and if interested, you should consider taking at least one of them. These types of classes allow you to be more involved with your faith and focus on it alongside your other academic pursuits. Be careful, however, to avoid classes and professors that may be detrimental to your faith. Ask around and see what options you have, or try to do some research on your own. If you choose a class and decide it isn’t a good fit for you and your beliefs, you do have the option to drop it and switch to something else.
While it can be challenging at times to connect learning with your faith in college, with a little determination and seeking out the little things, you can find creative ways to make connections between the two. After all, faith is an important part of your life that makes up your identity as a Christian. Seek boldly to discover more about it in your educational journey!
Learn more about connecting with your religious identity on campus in our Christian Colleges and Universities section.