Christian college advantages & challenges (from a college ministry perspective)

While Christian Higher Education and Collegiate Ministry aren’t the same field (as I wrote yesterday), clearly there are instances when their purposes and experiences overlap. Plus, plenty of college ministers deal with students attending a Christian college. (Of course, that includes chaplains at those very schools, but other ministers may connect with those students, too.)

So I wanted to post a few of these environments’ spiritual advantages and challenges for students. We could, of course, compile an “advantages / challenges” list for any college ministry context – enormous state schools, schools in Pennsylvania, 2-year commuter schools specializing in technical fields, etc. But in keeping with the debate / discussion this week, Christian schools are the theme today.

(To catch up on the four posts and see another person’s criticism of Christian colleges that prompted this “counterpoint,” scroll down to June 1st or just start here.)

spiritual advantages that coincide with college ministry aims

  1. Exposure to Christian thought and thinkers, often of a very high caliber
  2. Regular opportunities to connect vocation with spirituality
  3. Easier avoidance of some standard “collegiate temptations”
  4. Often a greater amount of direct, specialized collegiate ministry than at secular schools of comparable size (because the Spiritual Life department fills this role at a Christian college)
  5. Direct teaching of theological truths
  6. Direct training for ministry
  7. An available and visible Christian community of some size, which is lacking at many secular schools (that aren’t large state colleges or located in the South)

spiritual challenges that coincide with college ministry aims

  1. Less exposure to secular thought or (sometimes) to alternate Christian views on various topics
  2. Fewer opportunities to interact with non-Christians or others in particular need of ministry
  3. Special temptations: such as apathy, pride, or finding one’s unique identity in something other than Christ
  4. (Oftentimes) Only one collegiate ministry available, even though it might not fit all students well
  5. (Sometimes) Little or no direct, specialized ministry toward students
  6. Sometimes fewer opportunities or less encouragement (from staff and/or peers) to be significantly involved in a local church

Care to add others for either category? Feel free to comment!

Road Trip #11 update (Day 38)
yesterday’s T-shirt: the Golden Eagle tribe of Oral Roberts University

mileage so far: 5,075 miles
(
click here to see all the explorations from Road Trip #11)

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