Most who choose a Christian liberal arts college are not seeking a career in the ministry, but rather an education that will give them a broader. more spiritual view of life, regardless of the profession they enter. At the college level, schools approach Christian learning in a variety of different ways. In the words of one Christian educator, Ronald Oakerson, Dean of Houghton College in Houghton, NY, “Christian liberal arts is difficult to define not only because it’s a complex and subtle idea to analyze, but also because it is best understood as a seamless experience. At a Christian liberal arts college you will find a pervasive appreciation for scholarship, creative activity and worship.”
There are a number of very old Christian colleges distance learning institutions whose names you may recognize, like Indiana Wesleyan and Baylor. But according to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a top organization in the field, over 900 schools of higher learning now call themselves “religiously affiliated.”
A good place to start looking for schools, or checking up on schools that have caught your eye on the internet, is the list of affiliates on CCCU’s website (www.cccu.com). Be aware, however, that many fine schools are not on the CCCU list. Because of the rapid growth of interest in distance education christian liberal arts colleges, you will find small community colleges, private four-year institutions and even major state universities that have recently increased their religious course offerings. (You’ll also find some that have gone in the opposite direction, leaving their religious affiliation behind. I personally attended Union College, a school which long ago broke it’s ties to Union Theological Seminary to become a secular school.)
Full Range of Offerings
Nowadays you can find everything from history to science courses taught from a religious or partly religious perspective. You should assess distance education Christian liberal arts colleges in the same way you would rate a non-religious school. Focus on how well-developed their online teaching department is, how well-respected they are by potential employers in your area of interest, and how successful their alumni have been in the business world and in the community.
Find out more about accredited Christian colleges.