One of the greatest advantages of attending a Christian college is the opportunity to combine academics with an environment that nourishes and develops your spiritual life. Religion is something that’s limited to Bible studies and theology classes on secular campuses, so if Christianity is an important part of your life, getting to live and study in a place where it’s an integral part of everyday life is a huge plus.
Resource: The 30 Best Online Christian Colleges in the U.S. 2015
But many freshmen students find themselves disillusioned by their new schools, so this article will tell you five common challenges students who attend a Christian college experience.
Choosing a religious school is an open declaration of your faith and the important role it plays in your life. Even if you come from a family that’s openly committed to Christianity, university students may receive judgment from friends and peers who choose a secular school.
There’s also judgement from peers; Christian schools have cliques that range from barely-there believers to full-blown fanatics, and it can be difficult to find your place among the masses.
2. Peer Pressure
At a religious university, the faculty stress the importance of living a godly life. This lifestyle may be actively promoted by some students, but many others will still partake in the typical college activities that are highly frowned upon by Christians like binge drinking, doing drugs, dating outside of courtship and having intimate relations outside of marriage.
The temptation to experiment will inevitably present itself, but the repercussions of doing so range from guilt and shaming from religious peers all the way up to academic probation or expulsion if you’re discovered.
3. Non-Chrisitan Students
Chrisitan schools usually accept students from every religion, so expect to meet plenty of Catholics, agnostics and atheists. These students aren’t bad themselves, but the challenges they pose and even arguments that may erupt between an open believer and devout atheist can create a hostile environment and lead to doubt and depression.
4. High Tuition Rates
Because Christian universities are all for-profit, the cost of living and studying at one is a lot higher than most state universties. The cost of attending one, combined with debt accrued by student loans, is a hefty trade-off for the education.
Parents and students have to be practical when deciding on a school and ensure that there is a greater reason for choosing an expensive university’s degree over an identical one from a less expensive school than its religious affiliation.
5. Lack of Exposure to New Ideas and Worldviews
While the ultimate purpose of attending university is to earn a degree, one of the greatest things you’ll receive studying at university is an exposure to many different personalties, beliefs and perspectives in one place.
A Christian university can potentially limit your access to opposing worldviews and challenging thoughts; it’s great to be surrounded by likeminded individuals, but we can’t grow as people if we’re never forced to think beyond our mental comfort zones.
Wile religion is important, a degree and the doors it opens should be your primary consideration when choosing a university. There are lots of practicalities to picking a university as well like location, tuition costs and course offerings.
Make sure you take all of this into consideration when picking a school, and that you come up with alternatives to any trade-offs. It never hurts to have a backup plan, and sometimes, it the process of coming up with a plan B, we discover something even better than what we originally wanted.