Do I have to be Christian to go to a Christian college?

I am looking into attending Union University in Jackson Tennessee (for location reasons it’s really my only option) but I’m not a Christian. Would that be a problem? In the admissions process, with chapel, etc.? I wouldn’t be living on campus.

What do you find appealing about Union U, beyond location?

Only you can decide if you would be comfortable in a southern Baptist environment and studying at an institution with ‘Christ centered programs’…are Union’s values compatible with yours?

Looks like there are only two required Christian study courses as part of the core curriculum. I encourage you to read the academic program section of the course catalog…that may give you a sense of your potential fit at the school.

There is also a chapel requirement.

It’s tough to get proportion of students by religion type, but I would expect a high proportion of students are Christian.

Do you have any alternative options, whether 2 yr community college or other 4 year schools?

Good luck.

Thank you for your response. I already attended a Christian college before, and I need to transfer for location reasons. This means I’ve already got the religious class requirements down.

No, you don’t have to be Christian. You do have to go in with your eyes wide open about what their beliefs are. At a place, like Union, Christianity permeates the whole university. It’s not a nominally Christian place like Georgetown.

Sounds like you feel it is your only option, so you’ll have to make it work. It will help that you will live off campus. To be comfortable, you’ll probably need to keep your head down and not say a lot about your beliefs. You’ll need to be able to attend chapel and hold your tongue.

I’m Christian and I wouldn’t be able to tolerate going there. They are extremely conservative and hold positions that I can’t support. I’m thinking you’ll have to have minimal contact with campus other than the classes.

You might want to check if they have a morality code. If so, you’ll want to make sure you don’t violate it because colleges like this can and do expel students for living what they deem a sinful lifestyle.

No. You don’t have to be a Christian to attend a Christian college. You may have to attend chapel occasionally in first year or take a course about religion but these aren’t conversion camps, for practical purposes they are regular colleges. You probably will feel more at home if you are a Baptist at a Baptist College or Catholic at a Catholic College but there are no disadvantages for an open minded person. It can be an interesting experience for a curious mind.

I attended a Christian School from elementary through high school, and by the end of it I was an agnostic. From what I know about Christian universities, some are incredibly strict (being nonchristian results in expulsion). Do check if they’re as cult-ish as a Wheaton or Liberty – that’s not something you’d want.