Is Christian college right for me?

Christian college

Contributed by: Kristin Harding

"Is a Christian College right for me?"

Well, what do you think? This is an incredibly valid question to ask yourself when considering colleges. While there are many options out there for you to choose from it's important for you to know the ins and outs of a particular school before committing. Selecting a college isn't easy! Let's face it - you end up being bombarded by literature from colleges, your classmates want you to go to same school as them, parents want you here, you have to think about costs, getting a scholarship. Real easy, right? Nope!

Your college years will likely help shape you into the adult you aspire to become, so you really have to weigh out the pros and cons, surround this decision in prayer and trust God to provide you with a clear (or clearer!) vision for your college path.

Christian colleges have certain guidelines that they expect their students to adhere to while attending. In most cases you will sign a commitment agreeing to the rules and regulations of their school. For example, at schools like Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, they have a dress code required for students that is described as business casual for men and women. Recently they modified this dress code to include nicer jeans and flip flops. It is also noted that modesty is of utmost importance. ORU also requires students to attend regular chapel services at 11:00am on Wednesdays and Fridays. Azusa Pacific University (APU) has specific guidelines listed in their student handbook regarding use of alcohol, sexual activity, evangelical commitments, etc. Then there are schools like Baylor University, the largest Baptist educational institution in the world, which does not require its students to conform to religious restrictions but expects students to carry out the mission statement of the university which is based in faith.

As you can see, there are many key points that play a role in the overall vision and direction for a Christian college. So, what is important to you? The aspiration for any Christian college is that its students will leave the realm of student life after graduating, enter the "real world" and have a spiritual impact on society. Here are some good questions to ask yourself to help stir up some thoughts as you ponder this very important decision:

- Am I developing more and more as a Christian? And do I want to attend a school that will guide me through my walk with God as I continue to grow in my spiritual relationship with Christ?

- Do I put value or importance on such things as consuming alcohol? Dating relationships? Respecting curfews?

- How might it help my growth as a Christian to surround myself with those that are like-minded spiritually?

Remember, Christian colleges provide you an environment to continue to grow as a Christian, put an importance on faith and incorporate that in your day-to-day experience as a college student. Good luck to you as begin searching and begin making decisions!