If you’re a student who is looking for a religious-based education, you’re going to need some tips for choosing a Christian college. With so many religious colleges available in the country, it can be hard to know which one is right for you; in fact, the Council for Christian Colleges and University says that it takes understanding what you need in order to pick the right institution for you. Take a look through some of these ideas we’ve listed for you for help with your decision.
Resource: The 30 Best Online Christian Colleges in the U.S. 2015
This is one of the first tips students should take into account; many students will also find that this is the most important. This is because faith-based learning at a university level is specific to a denomination of Christianity and finding an institution that follows your denomination will be important.
You will find that many schools teach in specific traditions: Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopalian, and more. Because these are faith-based colleges, these traditions make a difference. Lutheran colleges have different values or place importance on difference values than Baptist or non-denominational colleges. Narrow down your selection to the faith you follow in order to make your decision easier.
If you’re thinking of going to a religious university, that means you are probably looking for an institution that offers faith-based majors. These would include ministry, theology, divinity and more, but it could also mean that you are searching for a school that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in these majors.
If you are looking forward to graduate study, finding a university with a Divinity school or that also offers seminary will be a good fit for you. For undergraduate students, just keep in mind that not all schools will have the same majors, so think long and hard about the career path you want to take and make your decision based on that career.
Quality of Education
Another trick to choosing a faith-based university is to understand quality of education is not better or worse at school that teaches from a religious perspective when compared to a public school. While faith-based colleges and universities are generally private and do provide excellent education, it is not enough to just assume that they all have world-class faculties and curriculum requirements.
The best way to determine the quality of education you can expect from a faith-based school is to look at recent rankings; you can also research faculty members and specific programs, most of which will be ranked separately. Alternatively, you can look up a school you’re interested in and learn more about how they teach; many schools provide experiential learning opportunities while others focus on a traditional method.
Ministry and Fellowship on Campus
While gaining a faith-based education is important at the university level, you might also be interested in how a school showcases its faith through its student life opportunities. You might wonder if a school has Mass or Chapel requirements, or if fellowship is strongly encouraged.
These are great questions to ask if you’re visiting a school. Many universities do have ministry and fellowship groups available, and some even require a weekly attendance of Chapel for graduation. This information can be found on a school’s website under Student Life; also available online is a list of faith-based organizations at that school.
Community Service and Missionary Opportunities
If you are interested in service opportunities that could help build your resume while you’re in school, then you’re going to want to take a good look at the extracurricular activities an institution provides. After all, you aren’t spending your entire time at a university inside of a classroom.
Many faith-based schools have strong missionary and community service programs and take pride in them; these are often the first opportunities listed on a website. The programs can range from local to international opportunities, and some schools even combine missionary work with study abroad programs, allowing a student to earn school credit while doing good in the world.
Not all colleges are created equal, so it’s important that you take the time to choose the one that is right for you. With these five tips for choosing a Christian college, you will be able to narrow down your choices to a few colleges that fit your needs perfectly.