Deciding which college or university to enroll your child in is one of the most time-consuming, confusing, and challenging processes, you’ll have to undertake as a parent. In your search, you’ll likely find religiously affiliated schools and discover they’re quite popular. While this may be primarily attributed to the fact that they combine academic and religious education, there are more reasons. Here’s why religiously affiliated schools are so popular.
1. Students Perform Better
One of the main reasons parents gravitate to religiously affiliated schools is students in these schools often outperform students in public schools. According to an assessment by the National Catholic Educational Association, the average scores of catholic school students were still 15 points higher than those of their eighth-grade public school peers. This can be attributed to the fact that the classrooms in religiously affiliated schools often have fewer students, making it easier for teachers to give each student the attention they need to excel in their academic endeavors.
2. Strong Campus Community
The campus community at religiously affiliated schools upholds the same religious values and beliefs. This encourages strong bonds between staff, faculty, and students, resulting in a tighter-knit campus. Professors help foster these relationships by organizing religious activities, services, projects, and assignments relating to specific academic programs.
3. Intimate Learning Environment
Class sizes in Christian colleges are often smaller than in public universities. As a result, students receive personal, individualized attention from their lecturers and are encouraged to interact with their peers. The smaller classes encourage interactive group activities and lively classroom discussions for courses primarily focusing on lectures. This makes for a more intimate and tailored learning environment.
According to the CDC, one in five children has experienced a serious mental illness at some point in their life. The intimate learning environment of religiously affiliated schools can benefit students dealing with or recovering from mental illnesses such as depression. The teachers are informed of each student’s unique needs, allowing them to tailor their approach accordingly.
4. Students Gain a Sense of Belonging
Being surrounded by others who share similar values and adhere to the same religion can be reassuring and comfortable. Students connect through a shared interest, fostering a sense of community and belonging that’s hard to find at nonreligious schools. While some religiously affiliated schools demand that all enrollees identify with a specific denomination, others welcome students of all religions and those not affiliated with any major religion. Regardless of the religions accepted, religious schools have a specific religion at the core of their system.
5. Faith Is Encouraged
If religion is a big part of your family’s identity, you’ll appreciate how faith and religion are integrated into all aspects of the campus rather than being confined to a chapel or synagogue in some corner of the school. Different schools integrate faith and religion uniquely on their campuses. One school may hold Bible studies in the residence hall twice weekly, while another may have a prayer session every day before class. Other schools may have mandatory courses on religion and faith.
6. They Offer Christian Majors
Religiously affiliated schools have plenty of options for students considering a religious-focused major. For instance, pastoral studies and Christian counseling are majors typically only offered at religious schools. Even if a major doesn’t focus on religion, students are taught these fields from a Christian perspective. In contrast to equivalent majors in liberal colleges or state universities, education majors at faith-based schools often follow a curriculum based on traditional education techniques.
If you identify with a different religion than the school you’re considering, don’t think your child’s application will be rejected. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be religious for your child to attend a religiously affiliated school. They typically accept nonreligious students and students affiliated with other religions. So if you’ve been considering enrolling your kids in a religious school, then you’ll be happy to know you’re headed in the right direction
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