What does Religious Affiliation mean?
Religiously Affiliated Colleges supposedly are not schools or colleges, which focus completely on a particular religion to prepare students for religious service. Instead, these colleges have official religious affiliations that are heavily incorporated into their cultures, but still, accept applicants who do not identify with their affiliated faith. These colleges do not require their student bodies to perceive or follow their traditions.
At the same time, there are only a handful of institutions, such as the University of Notre Dame, Baylor University, and Georgetown University, and more which are focused on research.
Universities like Pepperdine, which is affiliated with the Churches of Christ, offers undergraduate divisions in Business Management, Public Administration, Arts and more.
These colleges not only strive towards the intellectual and academic development of the students but spiritual development as well.
While searching for colleges, when you discover a college is religiously affiliated, are you disinterested or even more excited to send in your application? Well, to be honest, the differences among the colleges may not be as significant as you think.
Top 10 Religiously Affiliated Colleges 2019
Some of the best religiously affiliated colleges are given below.
|Rank||Religiously Affiliated Colleges|
|1||University of Notre Dame|
|2||George Fox University|
|4||Oklahoma Christian University|
|6||Texas Christian University (TCU)|
|8||Brigham Young University (BYU)|
Difference between Religiously Affiliated and Secular Colleges
A student who wants to pursue any degree in religious colleges may be asked to have some knowledge about the religion that is followed. Whereas in secular colleges, it is not necessary.
For religious colleges, faith and values play a very large role in the college. The procedure of teaching, learning, rules to be followed can be influenced by religion. But these factors are not necessary. These cases don’t apply to secular colleges.
Secular colleges focus mostly on the humanistic approach.
The tolerance level is high in secular colleges. Religious colleges focus more on morality.
Private secular colleges can cost more, and the same applies to religiously affiliated colleges. The tuition and fees can be very expensive for Christian Colleges.
Which Religious Affiliated College to Choose?
There are thousands of colleges to choose from, whether you’re religious or not. Some of the factors to consider are as follows.
Academics - You should be clear on what program to pursue. A lot of religiously affiliated colleges have professors from different backgrounds and offer an excellent education. Many colleges keep religion and academics separate, however, you may be asked to go to chapel or prayers. Choose the one in which you're interested in.
Influence of religion - A lot of schools are religiously affiliated but are not depended on it completely. Others are highly influenced and shape their curriculum according to their faith. You may be asked to take up religion classes. You should research whether you want a religiously objective education, or not.
[Also Read: Best Online Colleges for you]
How to know if a College is Religiously Affiliated?
Most of them mention it on their website, and you can further read about it in brochures. Colleges which are religiously oriented, mention it on their website so that the students aiming to join this college are clear about where they are coming to, and what norms they need to follow.
Should you join these Religiously affiliated institutions?
The college you decide to seek admission to plays a major role in developing your personality. Hence it is of utmost importance that you choose one of your kind.
Following are the points to be considered if you are pondering over whether to join a religion-affiliated college or not. All these criterions vary from one institute to another.
Pros of Religiously Affiliated Colleges
There can be many positive aspects of attending a religiously affiliated school. You may find it empowering to be surrounded by like-minded people and to have friends and professors who share your core beliefs.
If you are religious then you may love the fact that your religion is interwoven in your college life and being religious may help you find solace in difficult times in your college life.
This atmosphere may deepen your convictions and strengthen your spirituality, while at the same time, teach you more about your religion.
It may be easier to embrace and prioritize your faith with frequent reminders and encouragement from other students and staff members.
Having religious services available on campus can be convenient, and makes it easier to regularly attend the same.
Avoiding a party atmosphere is probably less difficult at a faith-based school.
There may be more access to mentors, in the form of chaplains or other religious advisors, and more encouragement to make a difference by starting your own clubs and ministries, attending mission trips, and volunteering in faith-based organizations and charities.
Religiously Affiliated College will help foster a stronger sense of belonging to your community.
It can lead to a better learning experience as the college community is usually closer.
A more religiously moral study structure may help better your humanitarian side.
Might lead to greater moral accountability when social behavior is concerned.
Cons of Religiously Affiliated Colleges
A college should provide a social atmosphere where students can learn social aspects of life and grow through life experiences.
Some of the cons are given here.
Maybe stricter than normal colleges.
May try to force religious views on students.
High tuition fees
May have lesser streams of studies available to choose from.
Many religious colleges may not be fully accredited by the proper education authorities.
The college may ask students to attend religious ceremonies.
Very uncommon but some orthodox religious teachers may have shallow views about other religions and other practices.
The perspective on things might be confined to religious beliefs and be narrow.
The Student Experience
At some schools with religious affiliations, like Boston University and Georgetown University in the District of Columbia, the student experience is largely unaffected. At other schools, students may be required to sign up for a religion class or attend some sort of regular events like a convocation or some ceremony, along with their studies.
There are scholarships and financial aids offered to the students since the tuition can be really high.
[Also Read: Religion Scholarships available for you]
There are colleges which don't let students take any of the government aid. You have policies for each type of students and LGBT rights.
You might enroll in a religiously affiliated college but that doesn't mean you can't have your own preferences.
You also get scholarships for professional athletic opportunities in the future.
If you are serious about a sport, you want to try for athletics which is a wonderful way to make friends, improve your athletic skills and experience team camaraderie.
Accreditors scrutinize colleges, universities and educational programs for quality assurance and quality improvement.
The faith-related accreditors operate nationally and review religiously affiliated institutions.
Myths about Religiously Affiliated Colleges
There may be some misconceptions prospective international students have about religiously affiliated colleges. For example, students usually don't have to identify with a particular religion to attend a college that is affiliated with it.
Myth 1 - The colleges are not welcoming
Fact - The religiously affiliated schools welcome people of all faiths, including those exploring their faith and people of no faith but goodwill. So the myth of not being welcoming is busted.
Myth 2 -The colleges have many rules.
Fact - Some rules are present but that doesn't stop the students from having fun.
Myth 3 -There are no co-ed religious institutions.
Fact - That’s a joke right? Just take the examples of some of the universities like Liberty University. It is a co-ed institution offering hundreds of programs.
Myth 4 - You would be orthodox or conservative if you’re enrolling in a religious institution.
Fact - This isn’t true. The religiously affiliated colleges accept students from different backgrounds and beliefs. The colleges can be conservative, but you don’t necessarily have to be.
Before seeking admissions to these religion associated institutes, keep in mind the following points.
Talk to current students to get a feel of the general perceptions on campus. Research each college as much as possible.
Not all religiously-affiliated colleges are similar, even if they follow the same religion. Don’t pick a college mainly based on its religious teachings, but instead on all the affirmative personal and academic aspects.
Religiously Affiliated Colleges and Universities
Some of the famous religiously affiliated colleges and universities are given.
|Religiously Affiliated Universities|
|Ashford University||Florida Technical College|
|Baptist College||Pepperdine University|
|Bible College||Fresno Pacific University|
Let me summarise you with what is really meant by Religiously Affiliated Colleges
Many of the oldest colleges and universities in America were influenced by religious norms and policies.
Gradually, many universities and colleges formally broke ties with their originating faith, while many still continue to hold on to their founding affiliations. Some prominent examples of this type of institutes are Catholic Universities, Islamic Universities and Hindu Colleges in America.
Religious-affiliated colleges offer a sense of familiar atmosphere; follow the same rules and norms at home. You will benefit from strong community ethics and spiritual life.
These colleges might be expensive compared to other non-affiliated colleges but the integration and faith in their education qualities are high.
Do I have to be a religious worshipper to attend a religious college?
You are not required to follow a particular religion but you need to abide by the norms and rules regarding faith. Seeking admission to such colleges demands respect, if not worship, for all religions.
What does religious affiliation mean for a college?
Unlike the non religiously affiliated colleges, these colleges have an official affiliation to a religion or religious practices but they do not need their students to observe the same.
What are secular universities?
Secular universities are governed by public bodies and there is a separation between state and religion. It is not linked with any particular faith, race or religion.
Is Chapman University a religious school?
Chapman University is not a Christian College, but a church-related school. The college is related to two churches - for 150 years throughout the formation of the academic institution, it has been connected with The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and since 2011, also with The United Church of Christ.
What are the scholarship schemes for admissions to religiously affiliated colleges?
There are Scholarships and Financial Aid granted by these colleges. Some of the colleges do not allow students to take government aid. There are faith-centered accreditors to provide accreditation to these religious colleges. Different colleges have their own scholarship schemes, for example, a scholarship for athletes.
Do Christian Colleges allow students of varying faiths to enroll?
Rarely do schools place restrictions on applicants regarding faith, and the majority of faith-centric schools welcome applicants of different faiths who might be interested in attending a school that designs student life within a certain facet of Christianity.
Does the college favor those who follow the same religion as affiliated by the college?
Most of the colleges do not discriminate on the grounds of the religion and provide a friendly environment where everyone is treated equally.
Do they offer high-quality education in terms of academic courses?
There are many religiously affiliated colleges which offer high-value quality education and a plethora of courses, thus leading to skyrocketing college fees.