Why Every Christian Teen Should Consider Christian College
Choosing what college to attend (or whether to attend at all) can be a difficult and stressful decision for teens. But we as teachers and parents have an incredible opportunity to help guide them in their decision-making process. A wise word spoken at the right time can help provide clarity, encouragement, and perspective.
As we have opportunities to discuss college options with Christian teens, we should certainly encourage them to consider attending a Christian college. While this path isn’t for everyone, I believe every teen should, at the very least, give it serious consideration and prayer.
My time at college (I attended Pensacola Christian College) impacted me significantly, and I would not be who I am today without the lessons and truths I learned there – from practical instruction to spiritual truths to meaningful friendships.
While the most important guiding factor in this decision must absolutely be the leading of the Spirit, teens should be encouraged to start by praying about Christian colleges and only seriously considering secular colleges after God has given them clear direction in this area. Why? Well, I’m glad you asked.
Why Christian Teens Should Consider Attending Christian College
- Secular courses have a strong progressive, humanistic agenda. As I discussed in my post Is Christian Education Really Important?, if the only problem with secular courses was evolution and atheism, we would all be in great shape. These are relatively easy to refute because the agenda is clear and obvious. But the progressive agenda goes far beyond such blatant falsehoods. It creeps into every area of academia, infiltrating even the seemingly innocent areas of art, history, music, business, medicine, and educational theory. Nothing is neutral – each area can be viewed through a secular, humanistic lens or a Biblical one. And I’ll give you a hint – secular colleges aren’t using the Biblical one.
- Christian courses should be taught from a strong Biblical worldview. In contrast, courses at Christian colleges should provide instruction from a Biblical perspective. (I say should because not every college that calls itself Christian is true to its name, but that’s another story.) I was amazed as a young college student to learn that there was a Biblical view to subjects I had previously considered neutral. I wouldn’t have gained this insight if I had attended a secular college. I would most likely have slowly started to believe the subtle lies. What a difference – to not only avoid the lies but to instead become strong in the truth.
- Christian colleges provide spiritual instruction. Most Christian colleges include Bible classes, chapel services, prayer groups, and other spiritual instruction as a part of the experience. The opportunity to learn more about Scripture and its application to your life is incredible. When I was in college, I not only experienced tremendous growth in my Christian life through this instruction, but I also was encouraged and uplifted during challenging days.
- Friendship with fellow believers is invaluable. One of the biggest differences between a secular and a Christian college is the opportunity for meaningful friendships. Yes, you can find good Christian friends at a secular college, but there’s something amazing about the synergy of a Christian student body.
- Young adults are often not as spiritually mature as they think they are. I know we all like to think that we have it all together, but there’s always a lot more to learn. And especially at age 18, it’s easy to think that our faith is stronger than it is. When I headed off to college, I considered myself a strong Christian. But as I look back I see that I really wasn’t. I had so much more to learn (and still do). If I would’ve gone to a secular college, I’m sure I wouldn’t have become an atheist, but I wouldn’t have been able to discern as much as of the error as I thought I would’ve. My spiritual life would have suffered, and I would’ve missed the opportunity for serious growth.
But what about our call as Christians to be a light to the world? I wrote more about this in my post Is Christian Education Really Important?, but the main issue is that undergrad college students are still in training. Most young adults are still learning to distinguish truth from error and could be derailed by training in the camp of the enemy. Once we’ve developed a solid foundation of Scriptural truth, we are able to go into the world and combat the its philosophies, but as we discussed, most young adults are not yet as spiritually mature as they like to think they are.
Do you agree that all Christian teens should seriously consider attending a Christian college? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with a comment below.