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    Why I Want to Go to a Christian College

    A prospective student breaks down her reasons for choosing Christian higher education.

    Mariah Secrest

    put some alt copy hereAs Christians, we are called to offer ourselves to God, and in so doing, to be used in the service of reconciling people to him. God, as the author of creativity, uses people in myriad ways, and I feel like he can best use me to influence the world with the written word.

    I firmly believe that it is not enough to write well; what one writes is drastically more important than merely how one writes. To be a good writer, one must be a good thinker. But how can I become a better thinker? What will help me realize my goals? What is it that will best equip me not only to be competent in, but also excel at, my chosen vocation?

    Most would agree upon the importance of a college education in order for one to pursue a career. Many would concede that the major one chooses is a significant element in becoming qualified for a particular job. Without question, these are important decisions for anyone wanting to succeed in what they do. Yet for me, as a Christian, the decision process doesn't stop there. I also want to give thought as to the type of education I receive.

    English is offered in probably every liberal arts college and university in America. I could pursue an English degree in any secular state school and probably pay a lot less for tuition than at a private or Christian college. Indeed, most people would likely think that in an area such as English, I'd be learning the same thing at a secular school as I would at a Christian school. "After all," thinks the average person, "what do conjunctive adverbs and iambic pentameters have to do with God?"

    Allow me to disagree. English has everything to do with God. The power of the written word, no matter how much you pick it apart, analyze it, and diagram it, is very strong. Words are the vehicles that convey ideas from one individual to another, and the way English is taught will have an enormous impact on what ideas are diffused by the English language and how. Underlying worldviews affect the way that all things are taught. Thus, wherever I go to college, I will be learning much more than the mechanics of my trade. Attitudes, morals and beliefs will, in one way or another, also be taught in the classroom. So since I will consequently be learning not only how to write, but what to write, I want to make sure that the ideas I'm taking in are in line with the Bible.

    Going to a secular school would probably sharpen my thinking skills to a certain degree, and certainly my debate skills. However, why go to a school where I'm constantly defending what I believe, rather than building on what I believe? The world will certainly give me enough opportunities to defend my beliefs, but I want college to be a place that nurtures my thinking and gives nourishment to my beliefs. After all, no one goes to college for the sole purpose of proving the professors wrong, but rather, to learn from the professors. While even at a Christian school, I know I cannot and must not let my guard down and accept everything I am taught, the quality of worldviews in the classroom, I hope, will have a much higher standard than that of a secular university.

    While I have just listed the reasons for wanting a Christian education, the education itself is not the sole aspect of any college. I believe that living on a Christian campus would provide me with the chance to better myself as a person. I want to grow intellectually, yes, but I also want to grow spiritually, socially and emotionally. I believe that a Christian campus, while not without faults, would accommodate an environment conducive to growth in these personal areas. Even as I will be made more complete through life experiences in college, so I trust that my writing will also be made more complete through those experiences.

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