As we start up a brand new year, no doubt we will have some students who will be considering Christian college. Here is a guest post by Michael Juba about some things to help our students consider as they wrestle through this decision. Enjoy :)
Education. Nurturing. Spiritual enrichment.
All these phrases—and many others—describe the kinds of experiences many students have at Bible College as well as within their youth ministries. There are multiple reasons that a religious-themed higher education is right for those, especially those who are members of their youth ministry.
Here are some tips to help you when choosing a college.
How to Choose the Right College
What separates Christian colleges from a secular university is simple: Christian professors care about their student’s education and spiritual growth. However, picking a Christ-centered college is about more than finding the closest one; going to a Christian school doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about the education opportunities being presented.
Christian universities, much like state-run universities, all have areas that they’re strong in. Some Christian colleges are better in the sciences than others. Those others might be stronger in literature studies. This college might have a strong youth pastor program. That college might be good in non-profit administration. Knowing the field you want to study will help you pick a college best suited to your interests.
In a lot of ways, this type of college research is the same process you would go through if you were going to a college unaffiliated with religion.
How to Find a College to Suit You Spiritually
Once you've got a list of Christian colleges strong in your intended field of study, it’s time to decide what will be a good fit for your spiritual needs. Christian colleges run the gamut from being fairly hands off, content to let you explore in their safe environment, to micromanaging their students, requiring specific levels of participation in chapels, Bible studies, etc, and the entire spectrum in between the two extremes.
Understand the types of commitments required of the student so you don’t end up in an environment where you feel stifled by the expectations.
And don’t forget to check what denominations the schools are affiliated with. While most schools will accept students of other denominations, going somewhere that matches (or is close to) your own Biblical interpretations will likely help you feel at home. Of course, if you’re looking for a challenge, you could look at a school affiliated with a denomination vastly different from your own.
The Cost of College: Bible Colleges and Their Impact on Your Wallet
A sad fact of life is that a private college, whether religiously affiliated or not, is going to be more expensive than a state-funded university. Investigate the kind of financial aid they offer. You may qualify for a variety of scholarships to help defray the costs. One common way Christian colleges try to help students is by offering is a discount to students who are members of churches within the college’s denomination.
Speaking to a financial aid counselor will help clarify the ways the college will help you become a student. Remember, they want you and will help you get the money you need to attend. Also, talk with your youth ministry leader to help them guide you in making the right decision.
It takes legwork, but with the effort you will be in a great college when your time comes. If you feel there are other steps or tips in choosing the right Christian college then please comment below.
Author Bio: Michael Juba is a writer and marketer from Lititz, Pennsylvania, which was recently voted the coolest small town in America. He enjoys writing about sports, technology, health, home improvement, travel and just about any topic in between.