As summer approaches, many college-bound high school students and their parents wonder if it's worth…
Most children embrace the faith of their parents. Then, through the maturation process, individuals may further develop or change their inherited spiritual beliefs. I grew up in a protestant, Christian home environment. However, very early in life, I made a personal decision to fully live out the Christian faith. I remained dedicated to the faith throughout childhood, and I put significant effort into developing my spiritual life throughout high school. When time came to plan life after high school, I desired not only to pursue qualifications as a career professional, but also to further cultivate my faith. I started researching college options with the firmly founded belief that my choice of college would influence my religious beliefs.
I was not worried I would lose my faith in college, I just wanted to attend a college that could maximize spiritual and professional training. For many reasons, I decided a Christian college that was a member of the Counsel for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) would best suit my goals. All CCCU member institutions have a Christian mission and intentionally integrate biblical training into their programs. Thus, a biblical perspective was encouraged throughout my college experience in both classroom discussions and extracurricular activities. My professors even incorporated biblical themes in their lectures, and they would often design assignments requiring the application of a biblical outlook on classroom topics.
Attending a Christian college helped me determine how scientific theories fit within my worldview. Both social and biological sciences seek to explain phenomena. In order to do so, theories are developed and tested. Those theories make assumptions about the world and humanity. I wanted to be aware of how those theoretical assumptions compared with a Christian worldview.
In addition to applying a biblical perspective to secular topics, I was able to formally study the Bible at my Christian college. Even though I did not pursue a theological degree, biblical courses were included as part of general education. Thus, I took courses that helped me learn the history of the Christian faith, core tenants, overview of Scripture, and how to accurately understand them. Weekly chapel services also provided me an opportunity to learn about my faith.
While increasing my knowledge and integration of the Christian faith, I was also surrounded by peers with similar beliefs. Thus, I easily developed many friendships with fellow Christian members. While a student, I also had the benefit of spiritual support from the university chaplain and resident life staff. My college friendships have provided me with a network of spiritual support post-graduation.
Finally, attending a Christian college gave me a unique opportunity to pursue work with the school. One of my career goals included working with Christian colleges and ministries–since I have a passion for spiritual development. Previously, I had worked with a Christian organization and discovered I had administrative and interpersonal professional strengths. Both areas are needed in order to be a successful admissions counselor.
The college experience influences body, mind, and spirit. While attending my school, I was able to study secular and religious topics, develop meaningful relationships, and gain professional experience in my desired field. Thus, a Christian college was a good fit for me in all three areas. I encourage others to consider the whole person when selecting a college as well.