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3 Reasons We Should Consider Secular Colleges

Christian colleges are wonderful. I believe, at least for the most part, of what their mission is and the role they have in equipping Christians for life. And, I personally know people that have strong convictions about sending their children to a Christian college. For them, I say, "wonderful."  The truth is seems to be right  for many people.

On the other hand I also think there are a lot of benefits of going to a secular college.  I could probably list at least 10, but to start here are 3 that I think are at least worthy of some discussion:
  1. Finances. The truth is most Christian college's are crazy expensive. The amount of debt that people go into to attend one of these schools is becoming increasingly crippling to many graduates.  It seems to be worthy of consideration to simply stay involved in a local church and attend a less expensive secular school that gives a person just as much, or potentially more, clout in the workforce for a fraction of the price.
  2. Mission.  It certainly isn't true for all, but I have seen so many people get sucked into the "Christian College Bubble" and thus lose all sort of mission and the realities of the "real world."  It's easy to talk about mission and how we are called to live on mission in a Christian setting.  But to live it out is a completely different thing.  Secular campuses can be a tremendous training ground for someone entering the workforce and especially someone involved in a local church - and in many ways it provides more depth to their training than simply working at a coffee shop or restaurant.
  3. Connection.  I know many people feel convicted to attend Christian colleges because of the Christ-centered instruction in the field of their study.  This can in fact be a huge benefit of attending a Christian college.  However I must say that I believe this type of learning can also occur from being connected to older adults from a local church that work in that field.  And from my experience those attending a secular university tend to crave that instruction and understanding, which is a great means for connecting people to others in a local church context.  Additionally, and again this does not apply to all, but often times Christian colleges talk more about involvement in a local church than they concentrate on helping students become/stay connected.  In fact they tend to offer everything a local church does - small groups, accountability, chapels, etc. - which inevitably leads many students to feel like they don't need to be involved in a church.  I have personally found this to be a much larger issue than most admit to.
Anything you would add or refute?


  1. I went to college an eternity ago. I graduated in 1989. I went to a small state college. I agree with everything you just said. While in school, I was part of a Christian group on campu, which provided the support I needed. I will say that as a parent, I cringe when I hear people speak of the "evil secular college" Yes, there are challenges there but I think Christian students can survive and even thrive there. I think that because not everyone on campus claimed Christianity that my faith grew. I too am concerned by the amount of debt students are acquiring. My oldest son just started college. HE wanted to attend a Christian school and was accepted there. My husband and I desired this as well, but when we ran the numbers, he was going to end up with a huge loan which would require a $284 loan payment 6 months after graduating. That is a huge burden on a young person. Add to that , the fact that he wants to be inministry, not known for high paying jobs, he would be financially behind from the beginning.

    So I agree completely. Granted, students need to be careful. maybe a small school is better than a big one simply because you can't get "lost",but large schools are possible. The key I think is to find a Christian group on campus to support you in your faith and to challenge you in your walk.

    Audrey Ateca


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