This time of year many Christian junior and senior high students are looking at their college options. Many are considering Christian institutions. I asked Whitney Reed, owner of ChristianColleges.org, to share five important things to consider, when looking at evangelical institutions:
If you are a student who is interested in earning your degree in an atmosphere that serves the Lord, a Christian college may be perfect for you. There are several different Christian colleges out there that offer many different things, so there is much to consider when applying for admittance.
Before you apply to a Christian school, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the school affiliated with a particular Christian denomination or is it non-denominational?
All Christian colleges will accept all qualifying students, no matter what their religious or denominational background. However, this is an important question for you as a student to ask, because if you feel very strongly about your particular denomination’s teachings and traditions, you will want to attend a school with a similar viewpoint. There are many different types of Christian colleges out there. Some are affiliated with a particular Christian denomination (such as Baptist, Catholic and Methodist), and some are non-denominational. Before you make a decision, it is best to find out each school’s specific perspective of the Christian faith and what it means to be servant of the Lord.
2. What majors and certificate programs are offered, and does the college have a graduate school?
Why are you interested in attending a Christian college? Do you want to study the Bible and start a career in church work, or do you want to earn a bachelor’s degree in secular work? Or do you want both? All of these are possibilities, but because Christian colleges are typically smaller than most other colleges and universities, some only offer a select number of majors, certificates and graduate programs. You will need to make sure the college you choose offers the programs of study you are interested in before making a decision.
3. Does the college offer a weekly church service on campus, and what other churches are located near the college?
Check out what options the college (and the town it is located in) has for worship and Bible study. You may expect a particular form of worship, study and service, so before making any decisions, make sure you first feel comfortable with either the weekly campus worship service or the worship service at a nearby church. Also, if you are interested in any other particular church activities outside of worship, make sure the college or a nearby church offers these activities for students.
4. Does the school offer a study abroad program?
Are you interested in a semester abroad? Some smaller Christian colleges do not offer a study abroad program, so make sure to check out what schools do and do not offer this service before you apply. In addition, if you want to take part in mission work while in college, make sure either the college or a nearby church offers this before you apply.
5. Does the school have an athletics program?
Are you an athlete who is interested in playing college sports, or are you interested in club sports? Some smaller Christian colleges do not have a formal athletics department or organized club sports teams, so make sure you choose a college that offers your sport of interest before you apply.