Four Reasons to Choose a Christian College

By: Gabriella Bemis
College can be viewed as a time when young people fall away from their Christian faith. However, Jesus doesn't have to be left out of the equation during a student's college years. Gabriella Bemis, a CCA staff member and Palm Beach Atlantic University alumna, offers insight into the benefits of attending a Christian college.

If you’re interested in meeting representatives from 30+ Christian colleges around the nation, join us for CCA’s free College Night event on Sept. 12!


Listen to this article:
“It’s finally here!,” I thought to myself as I nervously scanned the numbers on each door looking for my classroom (and trying not to be late).

I found my class and made my way to the empty seat in the front as the professor walked in, smiled, and introduced herself; she opened our time up with prayer and a passage from Psalm 139. The nerves traveling through my body were instantly calmed by her prayer as only the Holy Spirit could do.

At that moment, I knew I was home.
A Christian education helps students go beyond their degree — it’s the place where their vocation is developed, their calling is refined, and they are poured into by intentional leaders

Choosing Christian Higher Education

In the process of selecting where I would attend college, one of my biggest desires was to be in an environment where I could freely engage in conversations about and live out my faith.

In retrospect, I can attest that choosing a Christian university was the best decision I could have made for my spiritual and professional development – shout out to my alma mater Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA)!

A Christian education helps students go beyond their degree — it’s the place where their vocation is developed, their calling is refined, and they are poured into by intentional leaders to become the men and women God has created them to be.

Several CCA alumni have gone on to attend Christian colleges like Wheaton College, Liberty University, and Taylor University, to name a few. One such student is Jia Bigio from CCA’s Class of 2023 who is now a freshman at Liberty. Her parents are certain that this was the best decision for their daughter.

“The war today's culture is waging against the family unit and young people, in particular, is poised to undermine the biblical foundations we as parents have laid for our children. We were moved to seek a Christian university that would continue to forge champions for Christ and have a generational impact,” said Ben and Johana Bigio.

Choosing a Christian college/university can be a wonderful decision for young adults who value faith being woven into their education. If you or your child are considering a Christ-centered institution, here are four reasons why you should!
“We were moved to seek a Christian university that would continue to forge champions for Christ and have a generational impact.” –Ben & Johana Bigio
  1. Quality Academics

    Christian education does not fall behind secular universities when it comes to academics. Many Christian universities offer accelerated and honors programs, rigorous courses, and other unique academic opportunities designed for specific career goals and tracks. Class sizes also tend to be smaller, which allows for students to connect with professors and develop relationships that enhance their academic experience.

    Students are taught by Christian professors who are not only leading scholars and professionals in their field, but are also passionate about training their students to use their gifts and talents for God’s kingdom.

    One of my former PBA professors – now a friend and mentor – is a scholar who is known in the field for her work on attachment theory. She assisted me with my own research project on attachment, which a friend and I got to present at the 2016 American Psychological Association National Conference in Denver.

  2. Nurturing Spiritual Growth

    It goes without saying that attending a Christian college offers students opportunities to continue growing spiritually. These schools offer spiritual development opportunities like chapels, Bible studies, and campus ministries for students to worship and deepen their walk with Christ.

    They are also a great place to build community with like-minded believers who are all on the same mission. The friendships that can be cultivated with peers can easily become life-long relationships that flourish even after one’s college years.

    Students also participate in ministry and volunteer opportunities that enable them to consider the bigger mission and story of what God is doing in the world and how God can use their gifts and skills to advance the Gospel.

    During my time at PBA, God used chapels, the friends I made (and have to this day), and outreach experiences to speak to me, guide me toward His plans, and grow my relationship with Him.

  3. Biblical Stance on Ethics and Morality

    In a 2017 study by LifeWay, approximately 66% of young adults ages 18-22 who regularly attended church as teenagers reported they stopped attending church as young adults.

    The number one reason was going off to college.

    On top of social pressure, the curriculum and worldview taught at secular universities can encourage students to walk away from their faith or backslide. However, one of the greatest strengths of Christian higher education is their commitment to upholding Christian values in their curriculum as well as student life.
    one of the greatest strengths of Christian higher education is their commitment to upholding Christian values in their curriculum as well as student life.
    From the courses offered, to textbooks and selected readings chosen, to the conversations had around cultural topics and coursework, students are taught to think critically and engage with material from a foundation of a biblical worldview. Students are also taught in a way that helps to fortify their faith rather than weakening it; I know that was true for me.

    The required apologetics class I took in my last year of college was pivotal to my understanding of my faith. I learned tools for reasoning and defending my Christian worldview.

  4. Affordability

    The cost of tuition plays a crucial role in one’s college selection. Christian colleges are committed to providing accessible tuition by keeping the cost of tuition reasonably low.

    Most Christian colleges offer competitive financial aid packages, scholarships, and grants to attract students. Furthermore, their smaller size compared to large public universities ensures that a greater number of students can avail themselves of the scholarships and financial aid offered by these institutions. Be sure to reach out to their Financial Aid office to explore the opportunities your family may be eligible for.
Wherever you may be in your college admissions journey, trust that the Lord will direct your steps and lead you in His way.

Encouragement for the Journey

As I reflect on my college years, I am grateful for the ways God used that time to shape me. I thought attending college would give me a degree and set me up for a future career; what it gave me was a haven and community where my faith would flourish, life-long friendships would be cultivated, and my passions would be affirmed. God was faithful to provide in more ways than I can count – all for His glory.

Wherever you may be in your college admissions journey, trust that the Lord will direct your steps and lead you in His way.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” — Proverbs 3:5-6

Resources for Your Family

  • ⭐️  CCA College Night:
    • CCA’s School Counseling team is hosting a FREE College Night on Tuesday, September 12 on its Fort Lauderdale campus. High School families will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from over 30 Christian universities across the country and ask any questions they may have regarding the college application/admissions process. This event is open to CCA and non-CCA families alike.

  • ⭐️  New College Entrance Exam:
    • Students can now register to take the Classical Learning Test and have those scores considered for admission into hundreds of colleges and universities around the nation, including prominent Christian universities like Covenant College, Liberty University, Palm Beach Atlantic University. Southeastern University, The King’s College, and Wheaten College. CCA juniors and seniors can express their interest in taking this test on campus by clicking here.

 
 
Gabi Bemis recently joined CCA as a Content Coordinator for the school’s Communications team. She earned a master’s degree in Psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Biblical Studies from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is married to Scotty Bemis and enjoys serving alongside him in Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale’s worship team. When she’s not writing or singing at church, Gabi enjoys watching movies with her husband, spending time outdoors, and co-leading a small group with her friend Alyssa Mendez.

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