Some Perspectives on Choosing a College

Mar 18, 2021 | Three on Thursday

My middle child is a senior this year, so we’ve had all the normal discussions regarding college choices. Should she attend a secular university? Or a private Christian university? How about a community college? Is that in the mix? Are there other options to consider?

How do we as parents help our graduating seniors make wise choices for college?

When you’re a mom of littles, advice and encouragement is everywhere. Even before the Internet age, one could find endless magazine articles on the topics of bottle-feeding vs. breast-feeding, how to help your infant sleep through the night, and, of course, how to get your pre-pregnant body back. (I have much to say about all these things, but that will be for another day.)

By the time your kid is considering which college to attend, the spaces for advice and encouragement are much fewer and farther between. So, I was glad to see a pair of articles at The Gospel Coalition, written by college students, offering some considerations for both a secular and a Christian university. I thought some excellent points were also made by a third article, which I’ve included below, even though its encouragement is not specifically directed toward students and parents, but for colleges.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Whether you have a graduating senior this year or not, what are some considerations students and parents should take into account when making a decision on which college to attend? Send me your thoughts here.

I’ll compile your responses and share them soon.

Happy Reading!



“Consider Attending a Secular University” by Emma Kruger

“A secular institution can be a dark place. Spiritual warfare on the college campus is real. Yet, in the midst of all of this, the Lord in his sovereignty placed me at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It has been a blessing like no other. I’ve seen King Jesus use the secular university to show his power, for his glory. While there are many good reasons to consider Christian universities, attending a secular university has done at least three things. . . .1. It has forced me to ask hard questions. . . .2. It has bolstered my evangelism. . . .3. It has shown me the gift of the local church.”

“Consider Attending a Christian University” by Leah Schnyders

“Unique to the Christian university environment is a shared faith across the faculty, staff, and student body. Because of this shared commitment to the gospel, students can openly and respectfully debate doctrinal positions with faculty members and peers. Many professors open their classes with Scripture reading or prayer, and it’s not uncommon to overhear a theological debate in the dorms or cafeteria. Moreover, this common ground provides an environment where spiritual development and biblical ethics are stressed. For many students, their time at a Christian university is a time of determining their priorities and commitments.”

“How Small Colleges Can Thrive” by Benjamin Myers

“The best indication of the spreading desire for a deeper vision is the rapid expansion of classical schools in K-12 education. ‘Classical education is a growing movement in pre-college education in which educators, students, and parents reject the utilitarianism governing modern education and seek a return to traditional liberal arts principles. Often modeling their curricula on Dorothy Sayer’s essay ‘The Lost Tools of Learning,’ classical schools focus on the trivium of the medieval university: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. While they do not neglect science, classical schools strongly emphasize the humanities, particularly classical languages, history, and literature. Classical schools generally share a commitment to human dignity, an insistence on the existence of objective truth, and a sense of stewardship for the Western tradition of thought and culture.”



Have you read (or written!) a great article that you’d like to share? Send me the link here!

Read more in the #ThreeOnThursday series here.




Denise J. Hughes

Denise J. Hughes

Denise writes about “the quiet life” — a phrase found in 1 Thessalonians 4:11. It’s a vision for living counterculturally in a loud and restless world. She is the author of Deeper Waters and the General Editor of the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible. Denise lives in North Carolina with her husband and three kids.




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