If you’re interested in taking college courses online, and if your faith is an important element of your educational goals, you may want to learn more about what makes an online college Christian. With online education becoming increasingly popular, it makes good sense that some Christian colleges and universities, like their secular counterparts, are developing solid online programs. Essentially, the same markers that set a traditional college apart as Christian are the distinctions you can look for when choosing an online Christian college.
What Sets Apart Any College As Christian
What sets apart any college or university as a Christian institution is its ethos. Just like individual people, an institution can have a certain character, and that ethos is generally not a coincidence. A college defines and nurtures its ethos by its mission and values, the way it develops what matters most to the institution and how it carries forth values in the classroom and on campus. Christian colleges generally define their mission and values through a faith statement, sometimes one signed by all members of the faculty. Christian faculty members agree to shape the teaching of their academic disciplines through commitment to a Christian worldview. Part of a Christian school’s commitment to that worldview may also be shaped by the institution’s historic ties to a given Christian tradition. Some Christian colleges will be very specifically shaped by one tradition, and others will be inter-denominational.
Online Christian Colleges
Online Christian colleges are Christian schools who have developed online classes and degree programs. These programs and courses should be shaped by the same character or values that the main school adheres to. For instance, if a Christian college has a committed Christian faculty, you can assume that your online courses will be taught by Christian professors.
If you want to get to know more about an online Christian college, get to know the college itself, according to Best Schools. Explore their website and talk to students. If you can talk to students who have participated in online coursework, that will give you a better sense of how well developed their online educational component is and how they carry out their commitment to a Christian vision in an online environment.
Just like a physical college, an online Christian college will likely offer some courses that you will not find as readily in secular universities. While a secular university may offer studies in comparative religion, that course may not necessarily be taught from a Christian perspective. Christian colleges, traditional and online, will offer some unique courses such as missions or Christian education. However, most online Christian colleges have degree programs in traditional fields like business, psychology, nursing, education and technology. It’s not the subjects themselves that are different, but the way the faculty tries to integrate Christian thought into the teaching of the subjects.
A good online college program involves many of the same factors regardless of whether it’s Christian or not. You will likely want to find a school that has strong and well-developed online offerings, an excellent teacher to student ratio, instructors who are available for help when you need it, and affordable classes. A distinctively Christian approach to teaching is a big part of what makes an online college Christian.