For many people, their faith is the most important aspect of their lives. It governs how they lead their day to day lives and also how they treat other people. To this end, it is important for them to be able to study in a college, and with students, that hold similar values to them. When you are looking for a religious college or university, it is essential to do your research.
There are many different types of colleges that offer different religious styles of teaching. Some specifically teach religion and won’t touch on other subjects, whereas others teach all the normal subjects that you would find at mainstream colleges and add religious enrichment outside of the normal classes. If you are looking to study at this type of institution, then read on as we are going to take a look at all the important things that you need to consider when looking for a religious college.
Depth of religiousness
Whatever your religion is, there is a college out there for you, but one thing that is important to bear in mind is how religious the college actually is. Some schools design their programs so you can live your life as per the teachings of your religion. Other schools, while still bound by the faith, are more relaxed and let faith inform life in and out of the classroom in more subtle ways. Some of the strongest religious colleges will not allow students of other faiths to attend at all, whereas others are multi-faith and have multicultural campuses. Therefore, it is important to assess your priorities and what you are looking for from a program that will be next few years of your life. How will the school fit into both your spiritual, personal and academic goals? Consider talking to current students when visiting different schools to see the pros and cons and find out what motivated them.
Will my academic coursework be influenced by religion?
It is vital to decide if you want your chosen course to be influenced by religion or not as teaching differs widely between colleges. Some religious colleges will expect you to behave as per your religion, but the teaching of academic disciplines is identical to what you might find at a non-religious college. Other colleges will teach each course with a religious bent, no matter what the subject is.
You can use a list of Christian colleges to work out which works best for you and the style in which you would like to receive your instruction. Many people may not want faith to influence what they learn even though their faith is central to them outside of the classroom. It is important, but easy to learn about the academic approaches of the different schools you are considering.
New ideas and academic debates?
Religious institutions often have strong views on world events. They can be conservative regarding the dissemination of new ideas and in their teaching style. How for example do they approach sensitive issues in the sciences? How do they cover other faiths and religions? How important for you when choosing a religious college is how the school presents new ideas to students beyond the scripture of their religion. Students learn new ideas through debate and discussion. For many, it is important that this expression isn’t stifled by the institution being narrow when it comes to their teaching sensitive academic issues.
When it comes to LGBTQ rights, views among religious institutions vary. For some schools, these rights go against the teaching of religion. Having said that, people are becoming more tolerant by the day, and some religious institutions are starting to show more compassion and understanding for this community. Many schools have nuanced views in the middle. If equality is important to you, it is especially crucial that you do your homework as you won’t want to be studying at an institution which does not share your views on LGBTQ issues. And if you identify as LGBTQ, then this will be a central issue to analyse in-depth to ensure that you will be accepted there and that you can complete your degree in peace.
As we have learned there are several things to consider carefully when it comes to choosing a religious college. The nature of religious life on campus, the role of faith in the classroom, LGBTQ rights and the tolerance of new ideas can vary significantly. How are these issues discussed or debated within the school’s community? Do your research carefully and you can find the perfect religious college that shares the same values as you do.