Finding the school that's just right for your college-bound child is never easy. So many factors and so many possibilities! For many families, the "Christian college option" is the best fit for their goals for higher education. Listen in as five parents explain why they're passionate about an education that's distinctively Christian.
Debbie Ford Gourley: A Christian Worldview
Debbie Ford Gourley is a homemaker and entrepreneur in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Craig, and their three children. In addition to running the Gourley household, Debbie operates an interior design business from her home. Craig Gourley is a physician in the Charlotte area. Graham is the oldest of the three Gourley children, and he is currently a junior at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
As the three of us conducted Graham's college search, we looked into both Christian and secular schools. The more we looked, the more our son became convinced that he wanted his education filtered through a Christian worldview. He was really bothered by the way some public universities demonstrated an anti-Christian bias. We were impressed by how passionate Graham felt about this, and let him know we supported his educational decision.
"Keep searching until you find an institution with both the values you are looking for and the academic requirements that fit your child's vocational goals." Eddie Johnston
To be honest, I was surprised when Graham decided to visit Baylor. While the school has an excellent academic reputation, I felt some uncertainty because of its ties to the Baptist tradition. We're not Baptist and I wondered if that particular denominational emphasis would seen too foreign to our son. As I stood in a parking lot on Baylor's campus on a dreary, overcast day, I prayed that something good would come out of our visit there. God answered my prayer.
The school's Christian atmosphere and emphasis really impressed us. In fact, the first night of our visit was the annual University Sing, a long-standing tradition at Baylor where fraternities and sororities present elaborate stage performances. Along with enjoying the event, my son was deeply moved when a frat guy got up and sang a hymn. In Graham's mind, this would never happen at a secular school. When the Baylor student finished singing, my son turned to me and whispered, "This is where I want to go."
We're glad our son ended up at Baylor. More than that, we're very pleased that he's approaching his studies from a Christian worldview.
Winston Titus: More Than Earning Power
Winston and Candyce Titus live in Devil's Lake, North Dakota, where Winston is a minister in the Assemblies of God church. Candyce is the office manager for the Lakewood Park Bible Camp. The Titus' three oldest children are graduates of Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, and their youngest daughter, Brittany, is currently enrolled as a freshman at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota.
"We wanted our daughter to wrestle with important decisions in the context of a university where Christian values are taught and encouraged." Kathy Dean
As parents help their kids decide where to go to college, they need to look beyond their children's ability to earn a good living. They need to look for that place where their son or daughter will build the best foundation for life and faith. Candyce and I believe that place is a Christian college.
A Christian school is not a utopia. But it is a place that offers two things a public school simply cannot. First, it offers a Christ-centered educational experience. Second, the Christian men and woman on these campuses desire to help young people apply Christian principles to difficult issues and personal struggles.
No, a Christian college isn't perfect. It's simply a place where imperfect people come together to learn and try to live out true Christian values. And frankly, I can't think of a better place to send my children.