Christian Colleges – The Other School Spirit!
IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING THE IDEA OF attending a faith-based college but aren’t really sure what it entails, you’ve come to the right place!
We asked experts from three schools to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Christian colleges.
WHAT WILL I STUDY?
Christian colleges offer many of the same majors as secular schools, but generally, some form of religion is included in the curriculum. For example, at Liberty University (VA), all classes are taught from a Biblical worldview. “Faith is woven into all areas of academia,” explains Terrell Elam, director of resident admissions for resident enrollment and graduate adjunct professor at Liberty’s School of Education, “and students are challenged to impact the world through Christian service and in their future career.”
At Concordia University Chicago, all undergraduate students are required to complete at least two classes from a broad selection of Bible and theology courses. “While religion is not covered in every course,” says Steve Landgraf, undergraduate admission counselor, “the Gospel is at the center of everything we do.”
“The breadth and depth of our offerings of degrees and majors are very comparable to a secular college,” says Carrie Myles, executive director of the Milburn Center and director of academic advising at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU). “Our students are challenged to think critically as they integrate faith with their discipline, whether that is business, nursing, education or religion.”
DO STUDENTS ATTEND CHAPEL AND GO ON MISSIONS?
At OBU, students are expected to attend a total of 96 campus chapel services over the course of their four years of attendance. “Although a missions experience is not required for graduation from OBU,” explains Myles, “many of our students participate in weekly local mission opportunities and international mission trips during the summer or during our January term.”
While students at Concordia-Chicago are encouraged to attend chapel, attendance is not required. As for missions: “Concordia-Chicago offers students a wide variety of opportunities to serve through local, domestic and international missions,” says Landgraf, “but participation in these trips and service projects is not required.”
“Convocation is North America’s largest weekly gathering of Christian students,” explains Elam of Liberty. “It takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and attendance is required.”
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS?
“From an academic perspective, Christian schools expect prospective students to meet standards similar to those at secular schools,” says Landgraf. “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.”
Liberty University evaluates three requirements for an acceptance decision: your SAT or ACT score, your official high school transcripts and a short essay on how your personal faith and beliefs contribute to Liberty’s mission to develop Christ-centered leaders.
WHAT DO THE STUDENTS DO FOR FUN?
Christian colleges are about more than academics and Bible study! In fact, according to research conducted by the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America, students at Christian schools are much more
likely to participate in extracurricular activities ranging from athletics to theater to academic clubs to study abroad programs.
WILL EMPLOYERS CONSIDER MY DEGREE AS VALUABLE AS ONE FROM A SECULAR COLLEGE?
“I have never heard an employer say that it is not [as valuable],” says Dr. Rich Rudebock, associate professor of business at OBU. “In fact, it is very common for our business students to get jobs, and then the employer asks for more of our graduates.”
Does that help clarify some things? Good. If you think a Christian college might be for you, put some faith in further research to be sure!