Christian Colleges or Campus Ministries: What’s the right choice for you?
What’s the difference in experience between attending a Christian college and attending a secular institution with campus ministries like RUF and Cru? Surrounding yourself with a biblically-grounded, Christ-centered community is vital no matter where you are, so is there really a difference between a Christian college and campus ministries?
A 24/7 Experience
While large group gatherings and Bible studies are wonderful and have played significant roles in the lives of many Christian college students, the Covenant experience goes beyond these. Campus ministries offer students the opportunity to supplement their education and hear biblical teaching alongside their peers, but this Christ-centered community can be experienced 24/7 by Covenant students.
“Covenant is a community of faculty and students who earnestly seek to love Christ and one another. That is a rare and precious thing that I could not have found at a public institution.” - David Gaffin ’22
Covenant’s biblical grounding means that every area of life at Covenant is permeated with Christ. From the classroom to the field to the dorm, Christ is central. Professors teach from a biblical perspective. Covenant athletes compete alongside teammates and coaches who strive to exemplify Christ through their sport. Residence halls and campus clubs are communities where students can form deep friendships with fellow brothers and sisters. This is something only experienced at a Christian college.
“The people around me at Covenant were not just excellent athletes or coaches. They were fantastic examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ. More than wanting me to be a great student, successful softball player, or leader, these people had a real desire for me to fall more in love with Jesus every single day.” - Erika Mast ’20
A Season Dedicated to Growth
If you attend a Christian high school, you might think that college is a good time to branch out at a secular school. You’ve received a biblical education, so college could be a good time to move to a place with a different focus. Numerous Covenant Scots have considered this as they looked at colleges, hoping that at a secular school, they could ground themselves in the biblical community of campus ministry while also being salt and light to unbelievers around them. For some Christians, this is the path the Lord will call them to follow. If this is your path, we encourage you to get connected with RUF, Cru, or another campus ministry.
However, Covenant alumni have also reflected on their time at Covenant as a training ground, a time set apart at a special place to dive deeper into their faith. While everyone agrees that college is a unique few years dedicated to education, a Christian college experience can also be a specific season of spiritual growth. The time and money you set aside for your college education can be a simultaneous investment in your spiritual growth.
“I hoped that I would encounter an engaging spiritual and intellectual community at Covenant, and I found that and more. I was challenged in ways that I could not have expected, and I found my faith, intellect, and wisdom shaped and sharpened.” - Ian Banks ’20
As you consider campus ministries, Christian colleges, big state schools, and small private schools, we trust that the Lord will guide you exactly where he wants you to be.