Christian Colleges The Other Kind Of School Spirit!
IF YOU’VE EVER CONSIDERED a faith-based education you’re not alone. A recent survey of My College Guide readers found that 55 percent would consider attending a Christian college.
On the fence? We’ve gathered some information from two Christian colleges to give you an idea of how they differ (and don’t!) from secular schools.
Admissions and Academics
Academically most Christian colleges have the same admissions criteria as secular schools. “While [we] evaluate grades test scores and student involvement we also look for students who have a desire to serve others both inside and outside of the church,” says Steve Landgraf undergraduate, Admission Counselor at Concordia University Chicago (CUC).
He points out that while most Christian colleges offer a wide variety of liberal arts courses and secular fields of study most also offer majors that focus on theology or careers in church work. “CUC [offers] Bible and theology courses; all undergraduate students are required to complete at least two of these courses. While religion is not covered in every course at CUC … the Gospel is at the center of everything we do.”
At Liberty University (VA) the degree programs are comparable to that of any major university; what’s different is the culture of the university. “We don’t teach ‘Christian math’ or ‘Christian science,’” explains Johnnie Moore, Vice President of Communications. “We teach math and science but your professors are Christians and that influences the way they care for their students. We do spend time speaking about the integration of faith and every discipline.”
Outside the Classroom
At any school the college experience is about more than academics. “Students have the opportunity to become involved with numerous campus organizations including musical groups student government intramural sports [and] service organizations,” says Landgraf. “Our students can get involved with daily chapel services weekly worship experiences youth ministry groups and service groups.” At CUC students have plenty of opportunities to serve through local domestic and international missions but participation is not required.
At Liberty students have all the amenities of the most well-known schools in the country: Division 1 athletics hundreds of activities and intramural sports programs 60 miles of biking trails and even a year-round ski slope. There’s also a tri-weekly convocation. “[It] is the largest such gathering of Christian young people in America,” says Moore. “Our students hear firsthand … from some of the best-known leaders in the world.”
At CUC more than 90 percent of students have either secured employment in a field related to their major or started graduate studies within six months of graduation. Landgraf credits much of that to the internship opportunities that result from the school’s proximity to downtown Chicago. Two of the most common career fields for CUC graduates are teaching and business.
At Liberty more than 90 percent of graduates go into a secular occupation. “But our students are having an easier time finding employment than most college grads,” says Moore. “This is because Liberty emphasizes ‘employability’ in our curriculum and has a robust internship program that helps students get connected with potential employers very early on in their educational experience.”
Internships aside does attending a Christian college in and of itself increase your job prospects?
“Having a faith-based education says something about your character,” says Moore “and that will help you not hurt you. Period.”