For many students, faith doesn’t play a huge part in deciding which college to attend. For them, the only real consideration is which college offers the right course, or whether they can afford to go to an Ivy League college. For students of faith, however, there is another issue: that is, whether to apply to a secular college or attend a mainstream college.
There are thousands of colleges in the U.S. and beyond. This makes choosing the right one tricky, especially if the degree you want to study is a generic one, such as English or Computer Science. Sure, for every subject area there are recommended colleges, but financial issues are a concern for modern students, so some private colleges may be out of your price bracket, unless you search for Oregon best online degrees.
Your Spiritual Needs
Once you take fees and the cost of living out of the equation, the next consideration is whether a college can cater for your spiritual needs. Christian colleges are the most obvious choice for practicing Christians, but Christianity is not the only faith out there. Many students from minority faiths want to attend a college that is sympathetic to their religious beliefs.
It is worth remembering that secular colleges are not always the healthiest environments and for some students, a mainstream college is a better choice. Mainstream colleges offer a more homogenous learning environment that exposes students to other religions and beliefs. This can be useful as it will challenge your faith and make you question your religious beliefs – and not necessarily in a negative way. Indeed, many students who elect to attend a non-secular college leave with a more fervent religious belief, as their sense of self is reinforced during their time at college.
Faith and College Life
Secular colleges will provide a greater support for students of faith, but even if you attend a state college, you will find plenty of fellow students with the same religious beliefs as you. You can join groups where you can practice your faith with likeminded students – it’s also a great way to make friends in the early days. All colleges welcome students of faith, so search for college representatives of your faith and make contact when you first enroll.
Practice Your Own Faith
Irrespective of your faith, it is important to practice your religious beliefs independently. You should never use the college environment as an opportunity to castigate your fellow students for their lack of faith.
What Happens if College Doesn’t Align with Your Religion?
It is understandable to be concerned about what would happen if you lost your faith while attending a secular college. However, in most cases you will find your fellow students to be understanding. If you do feel unwelcome, you always have the option to transfer to a non-secular college, where you can continue with your studies.
Attending college should be a positive experience, so let your faith enhance college life, not detract from it.