If you’re a junior or senior in high school, chances are you’re narrowing down your options for college. I’ve always been a planner, so I was asking all the college questions in my Freshman year of high school 😉 Questions like “Do I want to go locally or out-of-state? Do I want to go to a state or community college, or Christian college? What should I major in?” You know the drill, right?
Honestly, the Christian vs. secular college wasn’t hard for me to figure out, but maybe you have no clue what to choose. While state colleges are becoming more popular and prestigious, Christian college is still a good option to consider. But, as with everything, attending a Christian college has its pros and cons.
I asked several college friends and graduates to help me with today’s post, so based on their answers, here are some advantages and disadvantages of attending a Christian college…
- Education with a biblical worldview
This is probably the biggest advantage of going to a Christian college. I’ve received a Christian education all my life–including some college classes–and I personally find it so much easier to learn when I’m not having to sort out my beliefs from the words in text book. Of course, not every secular college text book or professor is out to contradict your beliefs…But oftentimes the worldview taught (even if it’s subtle) in state universities is humanistic or evolution-based.
While we can strengthen our faith by learning to counteract misguided teaching with the Bible, it can be so easy to fall into the humanist mindset that is subtly spread through the secular campus. I have a few friends who’ve struggled to keep their theology straight because they encounter contradictory teaching on a regular basis, and their spiritual curiosity has wavered…a couple have even dropped out of church completely.
College is a pivotal season in our lives, that hugely contributes to our beliefs and the direction we choose in the future. A biblical education is dependable and so helpful in developing a proper worldview that will stick with you in future years.
Please know I’m not at all holding secular universities responsible for Christians dropping out of church, but misguided teaching and bad influences–in any school–do influence our beliefs and actions.
- Bible classes/chapel sessions
On top of having Christian professors teach your core classes, most (if not all) Christian colleges require you to take a couple Bible classes as well–Which is a fantastic little bonus. 🙂 I’ve taken 2 college Bible classes so far, and I loved them. Studying straight-up Scripture with a grounded professor is such a treat, and a nice breath of relief from other core classes.
- Christian friends
This is one point each one of my friends mentioned. Christian college is a great place to make friends who share your basic beliefs and who will support you and grow with you spiritually.
- No Co-Ed dorms
Need I say more? 😉
- No on-campus party scenes
Most (if not all) Christian colleges prohibit partying or any type of drinking, which not only cuts down on peer pressure or irresponsibility, but also ensures a more peaceful study environment.
- Stricter expectations
By “stricter expectations” I just mean greater accountability. Rules in secular colleges tend to be more lenient when it comes to dorm life, class attendance/dress code requirements, etc., but you can be sure much will be expected of you in a solid Christian school. I know there are exceptions, and I don’t want to generalize every state or Christian college—but I hope you get what I mean 🙂
Private schools in general tend to be pricey, and Christian college is no exception. I honestly have no idea how I’ll pay for my entire college education, and maybe cost is a deal-breaker for you. I totally get it–money doesn’t come easy. But I also know that when God calls you to do something, He always provides. If you feel the pull to consider a Christian university, ask God for wisdom and provision. He will come through for you.
- Fewer fields of study to choose from
Often Christian colleges have a smaller variety of majors to choose from, which can be inconvenient if you want to go into a more uncommon career.
- Many Christian colleges are not fully accredited
This was a small issue I had to get past when I settled on the university I’ll be attending. Thankfully, that college received full accreditation several weeks ago, but many Christian schools still don’t have that luxury. In many cases, accreditation isn’t a huge deal, but if you can find a Christian college that has it, that’s always a plus. 🙂
- “Shallow” Christians
One sweet friend told me she occasionally feels frustrated by the shallow Christians she runs into on campus. When you’re at a Christian institute, you may expect everyone around you to be grounded in their faith and clean of hypocrisy. But, as with anywhere, that’s not always the case, and it can be discouraging.
- Fewer on-campus evangelistic opportunities
A couple people I talked to described Christian college as a “Christian bubble.” It’s easy to get comfy in the Christian circle and forget about evangelism, which isn’t healthy by any means. While it’s fabulous to be surrounded with like-minded people, you will have to work extra hard to reach out to unbelievers beyond campus. This could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. 🙂
- More rules
Christian colleges are definitely stricter than other universities (some more so than others 😉 ). While guidelines are set in place to protect students, encourage godliness, and keep campus in order, I understand that rules can be a little overbearing sometimes. You just gotta decide if you’re willing to be a little inconvenienced by rules you may not agree with in order to enjoy other advantages of a Christian college.
Side note: Rules aren’t so bad if you accept them with a good attitude. Optimism is always helpful 😉
I’m not telling you what type of college you should attend, and I’m not saying all secular colleges are solely liberal and unhealthy (some are very good!). But I do want to share this verse with you…one that helped me decide on attending a Christian university.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness” (1 Corinthians 3:19, NIV)…
This verse has been my go-to when people try to discourage me from attending a Christian school, or when I question my own decision.
Receiving a Christ-centered education is really important to me, and I don’t want to risk my faith by going to a university that leaves God outside the classroom. Am I saying Christian college will save you or ensure a strong walk with Christ? That secular college will make you walk away from the faith? No. But for me personally, I believe that spending 4 years in a Christian school is the healthiest decision.
God leads everyone differently, and I know He’ll make it clear to you where He wants you to go. Just remember to keep growing, wherever you are. 🙂
That’s all I have!
I hope this post shed some light on your college quest. If you have any questions or constructive criticism, feel free to comment or email me! I always love hearing from you.
P.S. Please know I have nothing against secular colleges, and this post wasn’t meant to bash anyone at all. 🙂
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3:18, NIV).