How to Select the Right Christian College

Choosing a Christian college or university to attend is a two-year process for most students. Below are a number of attributes you might consider as part of the evaluation process.


Is the degree that I'm seeking offered?

  • Sometimes schools utilize slightly different names for their degrees while offering very similar courses or equivalent preparation for a specific profession. Review the academic catalog and speak with an admissions counselor or faculty member.
What about the major or minor?
  • Many degree programs allow you to choose a major or minor within the degree, which allows you to concentrate some of your learning on a specific subject and, hopefully, in an area of strong interest. A major is generally a group of courses taken on a related topic. A minor is the same thing, but fewer courses. Similar schools may offer the same degree, but have different majors and minors.
How about accreditation?
  • Attending an accredited institution can be important when you want to transfer credits, later enroll in a graduate program or be assured of receiving a quality education. In the United States, accreditation is administered regionally by accrediting associations. Each school's website should provide more information about its accreditation.
  • For students pursuing degrees in specialty areas, the college may have additional accreditation with an organization in that field, such as music, etc.
The School

What type of setting is it in?
  • The United States Department of Education uses the term "campus setting" to classify schools as Rural, Town, Suburb or City. These classifications can be helpful if the type of location is important to you. Consider the school's proximity to places that you might work, shop or enjoy a weekend.
Student Population
  • The size of the student body sometimes creates a certain campus atmosphere. Both large schools and small schools have their advantages, and this is another good reason to visit the school during a regular college semester.
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
  • This valuable number will give you a sense of how many faculty there are in relation to the number of students. A 12:1 ratio, for example, would mean there are 12 students for each faculty member at the university. This does not mean the average class size is 12.
Average Class Size
  • Generally listed is the average number of students in a class. Of course, some classes will be smaller and some larger, but this number gives you a comparison between schools.
Campus Resources & Facilities
  • Depending upon your degree program and personal interests, evaluate the school for libraries, dining facilities that may include snack bars, classroom technologies, studios theaters, athletic facilities and equipment, science laboratories, campus transportation, Internet access, wireless Internet, etc.
Campus Life & Spiritual Life

  • Visit the campus and request a tour of the dormitories or campus apartments. You'll spend a lot of time there, so take a look at your "home away from home." Are you able to select your own roommate? Are you able to live off campus at some point?
  • If you're not playing for one of the college teams, you may enjoy the competition of intramural sports. Review the school's website to learn more about the type of sports teams and tournaments that are available.
Student Organizations
  • Christian colleges and universities offer a wide range of student groups that are organized as clubs or chapters of national organizations. The type of organization is as broad as the number of unique interests! Categories might include student government, political, cultural, the arts, literary, sports, religious, professional and volunteer-just to name a few.
  • Different Christian colleges provide different worship experiences. Visiting the campus and speaking with current students is a great way to learn more about the spiritual life there.
  • While much of your time will be consumed with your studies and other fun activities, keep it all in balance with some form of service to others. Consult with the school to find out what type of opportunities there might be within the local community or through organizations on campus. You should be able to find a short-term or longer-term activity that allows you to use your gifts to bless others.
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