Chuck Bomar’s Thoughts on Secular Colleges

Today I was reading through some blogs and I ran across Chuck Bomar’s blog post entitled “Three Reasons we Should Consider Secular Colleges.” With a title like that it grabbed my attention so I figured I would read through it. It was pretty short so I have it pasted below and then I have a few of my on thoughts on what he said.

“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 who have strong convictions about sending their children to a Christian college. For them, I say, “wonderful.”  The truth is this is right way to go 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.
There are two things I like about and support in his post.
First, I like what he said about Christian colleges tend to get Christians into a “Christian bubble” where they never experience the real world and as a result never learn how to live out their faith in the context of a real, lost, and tough world. I have seen this problem in my own life as I have spent four years in a small Bible college. I loved my time their and I am a huge supporter of that school as well as other Christian colleges and Universities, but I think college-aged Christians that are in Bible colleges need to realize there is a dying and lost world that desperately needs us to live out our faith in their context not in our small Christian bubble. For example, I know many people from the “Christian bubble” world who freak out and almost act scared when they see a homosexual couple or a homosexual person. Why? Because in the “Christian bubble” you don’t see this. I am not saying it is wrong to be grossed out of some sort because it is a sin and a wrong way of living, but when we act scared and will not even entertain the idea of going up and talking to them I think we have a problem. That is just one example, but Christian colleges can make Christians live in the “Christian bubble” rather than live their life in the real world as Jesus did. Jesus didn’t hang around believers all the time. He trained them, taught them, and fellowship with them, but most of the time He was around sinners. That was where His mission was. Question, are we or are we not called to be on that same mission?
Secondly, I like his support of the local church. Christian college or secular college, a Christian needs to be plugged in a local church where he is growing. In my own life I have seen more committed college-aged Christians to the local church from secular colleges rather than the Christian colleges. The local church is how God works in this age and we need to be committed to it. I would rather see a college-aged Christian committed to the local church from a secular college than see a college-aged Christian from a Christian college who just “attends” a church.

Published by Austin McCann

Austin is the student ministries director at Redemption Chapel in Stow, OH. He has a BA from Piedmont International University and a Master of Arts in Religion with a Christian leadership focus from Liberty University School of Divinity. Austin enjoys reading, writing, playing basketball and golf, and spending time with his family.

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