Attending a private Christian college can be expensive. State schools, and even community colleges for the first two years, are less expensive alternatives – at least financially speaking. However, if you want to live out your faith in your vocation, the financial bottom line may not be the best criterion for selecting a school. Let me share four reasons why a Christian college education is a wise investment.
Christian colleges link what you are learning and your Christian life
At a Christian college, your biblically-based attitudes, values, and beliefs (in other words, your worldview) will be reinforced and deepened. You might even discover that some of your attitudes, values, and beliefs are not scriptural and need correction from the influence of the world around you. Classes will help you evaluate academic theories and perspectives through the lens of a biblical worldview. You will be challenged to think about how you can be salt and light to those around you through your vocation (Matthew 5:13 – 16). You will also study the Bible because the best way to recognize error is to be well-grounded in the truth. For example, if you study at TIU-Florida, you will take at least three courses (nine credits) in Bible and theology to give you a firm foundation in the Word.
Christian colleges offer a community that fits your Christian lifestyle
During their college experience, students study, and often live, in a community with their classmates. Christian classmates help promote an environment where a Christian student can thrive and make wise choices. While a student, the social activities at a Christian college will be more appropriate to a believing student’s preferences than those they might find at State U. Though Christian students sometimes make poor choices, it is also true that students who embrace similar values will have positive peer support in upholding those values.
It is common for college friends to become lifelong friends. I recently saw a Facebook post about a group of TIU alumni who started out as dorm mates and now, about 15 years post-graduation, are still friends who did a “girls’ weekend” together while their husbands cared for their young children. The foundation for their long-term, Christ-centered friendship started at a Christian college. And, although the purpose of college is not to find a spouse, the Christian community and the opportunity to meet a diverse cross-section of godly, committed Christians may lead to a happy and enduring Christian marriage.
Christian colleges are staffed with godly professors and other mentors
One of the ways that students prepare for their future vocation is through mentoring relationships with professors and other staff. These mentoring relationships provide advice and counsel based on real-world experience and can continue long after a student graduates. Christian college faculty are committed to their students and to their student’s growth in all areas: academically, personally, and professionally. A future Christian businesswoman can be mentored by someone who shares her strong ethical foundations that come from Scripture. The future educator is mentored by professors and practicing educators who view all students through a lens of imago Dei, honoring that each one is created in God’s image.
Christian colleges help you put feet to your faith
While many schools require service learning or community service, at a Christian college your community or other service is done in the name of and in service to your Lord, Jesus Christ. Options that are available at any school, such as Habitat for Humanity or the Red Cross, may be available, but in addition, Christian colleges offer mission-focused service opportunities that integrate spiritual outcomes with meeting physical or other needs.
See where faith can take you
Christian colleges, like Trinity International University, educate the whole person. In addition to pursuing academic excellence, a Christian school will help you grow in your faith. You will strengthen your knowledge of biblical truth through required formal Bible courses. You will study your discipline through the lens of a biblical worldview. You will be mentored by godly professors and other staff who will invest in you and your development. You will join a community where others share your Christian values and forge lifelong friendships. Finally, you will put your faith into action through service in Christ’s name and for his glory. A Christian college is a wise investment for you or your child’s future.
Karen A. Wrobbel, EdD is a Professor of Education and Dean of Trinity College and Graduate School at Trinity International University.
For more on Christian colleges, read https://www.goodnewsfl.org/choosing-a-college-thats-right-for-you/