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Do you recommend for a non-Christian to go to a Christian college?

anothergalaxyanothergalaxy Registered User Posts: 705 Member
edited December 2011 in Christian Colleges
I know some Christian colleges have a good acceptance rate (not too low), and offer generous aid. How is the experience if you're not Christian. Christianity is probably infused into all aspects of the college, but is it livable for a non-Christian? Do you recommend choosing another college instead?
Post edited by anothergalaxy on
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Replies to: Do you recommend for a non-Christian to go to a Christian college?

  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Not necessarily so, on the infusion issue. Conversely, genuinely Christian institutions should and often (not always) do have a Christian worldview which guides the institution in every aspect.

    btw, I think it is terrific that non-Christians attend Christian institutions. Chances of getting a better worldview ... and a great spouse ... are vastly upgraded. Won't get either, in all likelihood @ the corner beer joint or a whole lot of secular institutions. ;)
  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,762 Senior Member
    Chances of getting a better worldview ... and a great spouse ... are vastly upgraded. Won't get either, in all likelihood @ the corner beer joint or a whole lot of secular institutions.

    Whistle Pig and I often agree to disagree on this (well, I agree to - I can't say whether s/he does :)). The "worldview" at a Christian college where that view guides every aspect of the institution is only one view from one particular viewpoint. It's only "better" if you've already convinced yourself that the view you bring to college is the only view that's of value. And in that case, I'd suggest that the most important aspect of college would be wasted.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Well, I'll concur w/ gadad. We will disagree. For a very simple reason ...

    While he is critical of an institution taking a Christian worldview, perhaps suggesting one's mind won't get "stretched", challenged, developed or some similar notion by looking at the world as Christ might have ...the implication being "narrow", stifling, limiting, failing to provide either all the options or even perspective on the Christian view allowing one to "know the enemy" and/or defend the faith against heretics ...

    Well here's the issue. Taking a multi-view of the world is in fact, a worldview. And btw, suggesting that Christian colleges and universities, because they hold to specific value systems, cannot and/or do not provide perspective via alternate positions, is simply a false argument. There is no evidence of such.

    But let's be clear ... EVERY institution be it secular or sectarian has a very distinct, stated worldview from which policy, programs and pedagogy flow. It's called mission in most cases. So as my thesis professor began EVERY dissertation session with ... "You must stand somewhere to look at anything. Pick your poison."

    I'll stick with my notion, pick salt and light over the dark alternatives. And of course, Christ proclaimed there is but one truth. And it are Him! All must go through Him. Dabbling with all the rest is merely drinking the culture.

    So, none must knock on the door ... none must answer when He is knocking. But let's not be deluded into thinking that simply because no one's knocking that nothing is coming from that. You see ... we all have to stand somewhere to look at anything. Pick your POV.

    And please know this, gadad has my complete respect. But I am no longer naive in thinking I can stand knowing all there is to know about everything, including and especially the dark side of the world. I am not strong enough nor good enough to shed my armour and march in.
  • joyjoy1321joyjoy1321 Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    I would it will vary GREATLY with how "religious" the school is. If you have to write essays about your faith as part of the application process, that would be a flag that religious ideology will be everywhere. The more conservative the school the less likely a non-Christian would feel at home.

    If you find a particular school you are interested in, I advise you to talk to someone in Admissions about the experience of non-Christians there. Ask if there is a non-Christian student you can speak to or at least a student not from the prominent denomination. I say this because my sister attended a religious school close to but not our exact denomination. It turns out you can't even do study abroad at the school unless you become a member of a local church of that denomination. And the few students not of the schools denomination often felt left out (and these were Christians just of a different denomination).

    The more diverse the student body and faculty are, the more likely a non-religious student would feel accepted.

    Other religious schools are religious mostly in name and you would have little problem attending there (think Notre Dame).

    -From Places of Worship // Admissions // University of Notre Dame
    "Openness
    The opportunities for worship are constant, the spaces for prayer, contemplation, and celebration plentiful, the questions challenging, the conversation compassionate. No matter the time, place, or way that family members connect with the divine, we believe that the connection between individual and God and between oneself and another is necessary to the health of our community and to the sanctity of our mission."
  • BowTieFrattyBowTieFratty Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    I agree with the above posters that it really depends on what school you attend. There are some that you would not have a clue that you were at a Christian school except the name of the school gave it away. Others give you a daily dose of bible beating and education about their current accepted social and political as well as spiritual beliefs.

    In all I really enjoyed going to a Christian U and would never think about going anywhere else. The people at most of the smaller Christian colleges I have been to are more friendly and treat you like a person instead of a number.

    Be warned that many Christian schools are marriage factories where very few can escape untied. This of course isnt all bad. There are also many schools where drinking is a way of life and others where it is very frowned on... check what you want in a school.
  • TimothyHTimothyH Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    At the particular Christian Institution I am most familiar with, faith is important, but certainly not required. However, we are also nowhere near the level of conservativism of say a Bob Jones or Pensacola. So I would have to concur with the majority opinion already presented that suggests it depends on the college.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    ...Be warned that many Christian schools are marriage factories where very few can escape untied.
    funny, silly, ridiculous ...
  • TimothyHTimothyH Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    I don't know Pig...Most of the students I went to school with Graduated hitched. I was able to graduate with the knot still waiting to be tied, but I was dating the sweetheart I married. :)

    Personally, I'm waiting for some schools to start competing with E-Harmony and ChristianSingles.com. lol
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Well, despite my pooh-poohing that claim? I AM IMPRESSED! Really. Where better to meet a godly spouse than at a purportedly godly campus??!!!

    And as I ponder this one ... I might have to back off. I've been in a bunch of wasted watering holes prominent to most secular campuses ... and while accidents can happen, definitely not the "ideal" place to land the kind of person one would dream of spending our earthly forever with. I give! And continued best wishes!! :cool:
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 3,541 Senior Member
    Be warned that many Christian schools are marriage factories where very few can escape untied.

    I went to big secular state U and a good majority of my friends also got hitched to other students either in school or shortly thereafter (within a year or two) - including myself. It's kind of nice having the same Alma mater actually.

    I think it's more the age of the students, not whether they choose secular or Christian.

    Of those not choosing to go to college, a fair number get married shortly after high school - at least around here. Maybe it's the idea of waiting until education is "complete?"
  • marysidneymarysidney Registered User Posts: 572 Member
    My sister taught at a Christian college for a year; she was, as a professor, expressly forbidden to talk about a whole raft of topics, or to allow such topics to be discussed in her class--and those topics were not necessarily religious, either, but political and cultural. Feminism, of course, in any form, was not to be touched on, nor was evolution. I understand that a certain culture of people describing themselves as Christian define themselves in this way, and that is fine for them, but if you as a non-Christian (or even as a Christian who does not so define his religion) attend such a school, you may find that the curriculum provides not so much an education as a straitjacket--like the teachers, you will not be allowed to discuss or write about topics that are deemed incorrect or offensive. Make sure you know ahead of time what you're getting into.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    Cmon, who are you kidding. Do you believe for a second the thought and speech police don't run rampant at secular institutions? Check out John Stossel's show from last week ... "College is a Rip-Off!"

    Why do you think Lehigh has put a qualifier on Dr. Behe's website.

    Let's get real here. That sword cuts both ways, and in most ways it's more severe among non-Christian institutions.

    One more thought ... Christians don't define Christianity. That's been taken care of in the instruction manual.
  • BowTieFrattyBowTieFratty Registered User Posts: 456 Member
    I do not doubt that the topic of feminism (especially feminist interpretation of literature) was frowned upon.

    I think my school went the opposite way and decided that if there was any current popular opposition to accepted theories that all theories must be presented.

    I became so sick of hearing odd fundamentalist theories in advanced science classes when we could have just skipped it and gone by the book. I also became very tired of listening to how some people believed this or that conspiracy theory or how history may have been effected by revisionists. I personally could care less what current textual critics may believe about the Bible.....

    Seriously just give me a book or a lecture and tell me what info is going to be on the test. I dont really care what all of these different people think, im here to make an "A."
  • marysidneymarysidney Registered User Posts: 572 Member
    Whistle pig: I have taught at secular colleges and I assure you that there is no thought police. There, as a professor, I have had students write papers espousing many different beliefs; my job, and that of other professors, was to make sure that their research and argumentation was sound and thorough. A bad argument is one without basis in evidence, as produced by the writer and attributable to balanced research (an example of insufficient evidence might be "on a radio show with an avowed political bias, some guy made an speech I agreed with"). My sister, on the other hand, was required to sign a contract forbidding her to allow discussion of specific topics. I am not suggesting that my sister's experience is typical of all "Christian" colleges; I was warning the OP that, at at least one such school of which I have personal knowledge, he or she might find a situation that, as a non-Christian, he or she might not find to his or her taste.

    It is very clear that there are people who do not care to have their assumptions challenged, nor to have to defend them on logical grounds. Such people will not be comfortable at traditional colleges, because traditionally, education has been intended as a way to train students to analyze information, learn to recognize faulty arguments, and to think for themselves. People who prefer not to have to think in order to make an "A," as BowTieFratty puts it, have created for themselves schools where such thinking is not only not necessary but not allowed. Those are excellent seminaries for the dissemination of dogma. They are not for everyone.
  • Whistle PigWhistle Pig - Posts: 4,093 Senior Member
    marysidney wrote:
    ...I have taught at secular colleges and I assure you that there is no thought police.

    Good for you. Really. But you are sorely mistaken. Try expressing your conservative opinions, perhaps that a course on teaching bio from a Creation perspective; or maybe that faculty should teach MORE not less; or how your "diversity" students are screwing up the curve and the U must either admit fewer or provide the necessary support to get them through; or how there are too many lesbians teaching in the women's study program; or ... you'll soon find out how "free" your thought and speech is when you become like a pariah from a Billy Graham Crusade. You'll be gone fastern the final space shuttle getting into the upper atmosphere. PLEASE tell us you are kidding.

    Yours is an admirable, if sorely deluded POV.

    You did not see Stossel's piece on "The College Scam" apparently. Watch it tonite. More.

    And if you wish, check out the following website. It's from The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) They have come into existence for one primary funcion. To fight speech (and thus "thought") codes and attempts of campuses to dictate what can and cannot be said. Plenty of cases. Happy reading. btw, they have NEVER lost a case against these illegal codes.

    John Stossel on Over-Regulation and FIRE's Case at IUPUI - FIRE
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