Ultimate Guide on Faith-Based Colleges in the U.S.

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    April brings a time of celebration for many holidays. Easter and Passover are two holidays from vastly different religions that are occurring simultaneously this year. These holidays are a time of celebration for those with strong faith and religious values. If religion and faith is something that is important to you, you might consider attending a faith-based college. While most colleges and universities give students exposure to individuals from all different backgrounds, faith-based colleges help students find a community of people with similar religious ideals. Here is a guide to the top faith-based colleges in the U.S.

    Brigham Young University

    Brigham Young University, otherwise known as BYU, is a faith-based institution in Provo, Utah. It was established in 1875 by Brigham Young. The university is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and places a strong emphasis on their Mormon values. Niche.com ranked it the #1 Most Conservative College in 2020. Missionary service is an extremely important aspect of attending BYU. According to their website, around 66% of its students are currently serving on mission trips.

    Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to attend BYU. However, students that are not members of the church have a tuition cost of about $3,000 more per semester. Brigham Young University has an acceptance rate of around 65%. This makes it a match school for most students. Their most popular majors are psychology, exercise physiology, and accounting. It is safe to say that students that attend Brigham Young University can be involved in their Mormon faith while still receiving a traditional college experience.

    Pepperdine University

    Pepperdine University is a private research university with affiliations to the Churches of Christ. Its main campus is located in Malibu, California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Pepperdine only offers a liberal arts undergraduate education from the Frank R. Seaver College of Letter, Arts, and Sciences. In addition to bachelor’s degrees, Seaver College offers graduate programs in Ministry, American studies, and screen and television writing. Pepperdine University places a strong emphasis on the integration of faith in their learning. Students are required to attend 14 spiritual events a semester and take at least 3 religion courses during their time at Pepperdine.

    Pepperdine also gives its students an opportunity to give back to the community with their Waves of Service program. This program serves as a volunteering opportunity for Pepperdine students looking for greater significance in their life. In addition to their mission programs, they also have a strong student campus life. 99% of their students live on campus, giving them a chance to interact with other Pepperdine students who share their interests.

    Brandeis University

    Brandeis University is a private research university in Waltham, Massachusetts sponsored by the Jewish community. Brandeis gets its name after Louis Brandeis, the first Jewish Justice of the Supreme Court. While the institution is highly based on their Jewish faith, they allow students the opportunity to explore their spirituality. Their staff chaplains assist their students in finding a supportive community they feel comfortable with. Their faith communities range from Judaism to Buddhism, Catholicism, Muslim, and others. Jewish students can feel comfortable and safe in their environment while gaining exposure to others from different backgrounds and cultures.

    Brandeis offers student-run TV and radio stations but also, religious performance groups, service organizations, and more. The Shapiro Campus Center serves as a hub of student activity on campus. It houses a theatre, bookstore, and a student art gallery!

    The Princeton Review ranked Brandeis University #1 for student engagement in community service. If you are a student that feels strongly about their community and discovering your spirituality, Brandeis might be a great option for you.

    Baylor University

    Baylor University is a private Baptist Christian University in Waco, Texas. This institution is the oldest continually operating university in Texas, chartered in 1845. Baylor gives students a chance to become closer to their faith through their George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Through their seminary, students have the chance to learn from world-class leaders and educators on faith-based discussions and topics. If you have no intention of joining a seminary, it’s okay. Baylor University offers a wide range of programs. Some of its most popular majors are nursing, biology, and accounting.

    Their students are bounded by their passion for volunteerism. Each semester, students participate in a one-day volunteer program called Steppin’ Out where they collectively donate 12,000 hours of service. Baylor students also have the option to volunteer year-round at the school’s Urban Mission, which coordinates service projects in the local community or the Global Missions which sends students abroad.

    In addition to volunteering, students can join more than 300 organizations on campus. Baylor is home to over 40 sororities and fraternities that compete in their own intramural sports leagues. If you’re looking to tie your love for the community to your college experience, explore Baylor.

    Other Faith-Based Schools in The U.S.

    In addition to the schools mentioned above, there are other great universities to choose from. Colleges like Yeshiva University, Andrew College, Liberty University and Islamic American University also provide students a religious education with the traditional college experience.

    Why Go To A Faith-Based College?

    There are many reasons to attend a faith-based institution. Although these schools have strong ties to spiritual and religious values, these institutions do not lack education. They house the same caliber of educational merit as other colleges and universities.

    In addition, faith-based institutions give students a chance to be associated with others that hold the same set of morals as them. This can help facilitate stronger relationship building and an easier transition into college life. If faith is a huge part of your life, faith-based institutions are mindful of having campus activities that don’t challenge your views. Their campus organizations and activities allow you to remain loyal to your set of beliefs without dishonoring your faith.

    Finally, many faith-based institutions place a huge emphasis on the importance of community service and volunteering. Individuals that attend faith-based institutions feel that their time in college is spent heavily on doing well for others.

    Alix Zevetski

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