A Christian college can provide a strong education with a religious foundation. Many students appreciate the chance to deepen their faith and to study within a Christian community of students. If you are thinking about pursuing an education at a Christian college, keep the following five tips in mind.
1. Academic Prowess
Christian colleges vary widely in terms of their academic standards. Some are more inclusive, accepting students with less impressive high school records. However, since many Christian colleges are private, the academic requirements can be rigorous. When applying, always check the GPA requirements. Schools often require a test score from either the SATs or the ACTs, and there may be a minimum score necessary for admission. If you do not meet the academic standards, investigate probationary avenues. Some schools will make exceptions for students who do not quite meet the academic baseline if the rest of their application is strong enough.
2. Community Involvement
Increasingly, all colleges look at a student holistically. This means that extracurricular activities and volunteer work are both relevant. This is especially true for Christian colleges. Many Christian colleges do not seek to educate the mind on its own but hope to foster better people to go out into the world. Therefore, these schools often desire students that show a commitment to helping others and the community. Working at church, going on mission trips and serving in the community can make your application look even more appealing.
3. Spiritual Goals
A Christian college will have theological classes as part of the core curriculum, which is why addressing your spiritual life will be important as you apply. These colleges want to know what you hope to gain in your faith during your time on campus. The application may include questions specifically related to your spiritual life, and your application essay may be centered around important elements of your faith. It is important to be authentic as you discuss your spiritual goals, and you should keep in mind the specific denomination of the college you are considering. Christian colleges will have different affiliations from Catholic schools to Lutheran seminaries. Each denomination will have its own unique theology, which may be worth consulting while completing your paperwork.
4. Career Plans
Although Christian colleges do provide a spiritual foundation, they also offer you a starting place for your career goals. Some Christian colleges may be focused on preparing students specifically for ministry with degrees in counseling, youth ministry, worship leadership and more. Other colleges may offer a broader liberal arts curriculum and have programs to prepare students for other, more secular careers. There are even some more technical schools that provide degrees that are exclusively career oriented with religious coursework as more of a supplement. You should know your personal career goals and make sure they match up with the college’s academic options.
5. Financial Aid
Christian colleges are private institutions, and most of them have the price tag to prove it. The cost of attending a Christian college will vary depending on the school, but the yearly tuition is definitely something to know in advance. Before submitting an application, look into the scholarship opportunities that may be available. While Christian colleges may be expensive, many have extensive scholarship and financial aid opportunities to offset the cost. Many scholarships must be obtained as soon as possible, which means it is never too early to start looking.
A Christian college can be a great place to learn and grow. Use these tips to finish your application and begin your studies.