Thinking About a Christian Education? There’s a Christian College for You

by Heather Nelson

When it comes to pursuing a Christian education, there’s a lot to consider. With more than 140 Christian colleges and universities in the U.S. (and nearly half a million students enrolled), there’s more choice than ever for individuals looking to blend faith and higher education for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Here are a few different aspects to consider when searching for the Christian college that best suits you.

Curriculum for the Mind and Soul

It’s important to pursue a course of study that you’re interested in and passionate about. “Education that instructs the mind without deepening the soul is not true learning, according to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a nonprofit organization that studies outcomes of Christian higher education. In recent years, the CCCU’s research has come to some encouraging conclusions.

Students who graduate from Christian colleges and universities receive a holistic education, paving the way for careers where faith meets vocation. As stated in the CCCU’s executive summary, graduates play a “redemptive and restorative role in the world as doctors, teachers, marketers, engineers, parents, soccer coaches, and in a host of other ways. In other words, we are private religious institutions that exist for the public good and contribute to human flourishing.”

Christian colleges offer programs not only in theology and biblical studies, but in traditional fields like art, science, business, and education. This means physicians, pastors, educators, and theologians are making their way into the workforce from a number of Christian colleges.

Real Value and Surprising Affordability

Most Christian colleges are private, but that doesn’t mean they’re all expensive. Christian colleges are some of the most generous institutions, providing $5 in aid through grants and scholarships for every $1 in federal grant money a student receives. So, if you checked any Christian colleges off your list because the cost spooked you, consider putting them back on!

Inclusivity and financial aid are cornerstones of Christian higher education, making enrollment a possibility for students from all backgrounds. As you look around at different schools, ask to see the available financial aid packages and use that information to help guide your final decision.

Faithful College Experiences

Choosing a Christian education doesn’t mean giving up an exciting college experience. Most schools have robust athletic programs and extracurricular activities that offer a well-rounded experience. For example, Azusa Pacific University has seven men’s teams and nine women’s teams, ranging from football and softball to tennis and soccer. APU students can also get involved and connect with a wide variety of clubs and organizations during their time on campus. This is in addition to unique opportunities only found at Christian colleges, like service projects, mission trips, and weekly chapel sessions.

A Welcoming Place for You

Did you know that there are Christian colleges in nearly every state in the U.S.? Whether you’re looking for the ultimate college experience in the lush Pacific Northwest, sunny California, sweet-tea drinking South, historic New England, or the great Midwest, there are a lot of places you can call home for the next four years.

The desire for a faith-based education doesn’t lock you down to just one or two locations. The options are more far-reaching than you might realize. It’s important to give some thought to your personal preferences and needs when making plans—perhaps there is a specific area you’d like to live near or a regional climate you’d really enjoy. You can search for Christian colleges by state using this handy search tool from Christianity Today.

As you narrow down your college choices, consider the benefits of a Christian education. After four years of nourishing your mind and soul, you’ll be equipped with the insights (and degree) needed to make a real difference in your community and career field. Giving ample thought to your desired curriculum, cost, college experience, and location can help you head in the right direction.

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