Why Choose a Lutheran College?
Many Christians in the United States attend secular colleges. Many others attend Christian colleges – so what’s the difference? Especially for Lutherans, is there a point in attending a Lutheran college as opposed to a secular institution? Students – and their parents – put a lot of thought into choosing the right college at which to spend the next four years of their life. For Lutheran students, or even those who are just looking for a Christian college environment, choosing an institution that offers a Christ-centered education can be a life-enhancing decision.
Most of the time, universities focus on preparing their students for the professional world; they encourage them to make the most of their time as an undergraduate student by networking, exploring internship opportunities, and discovering the career path that is right for them. This is not an unimportant mission for colleges – by no means! Lutheran colleges emphasize the building of one’s professional skills just as these schools do; however, distinctly Christ-centered colleges prepare the “whole person” for life both in and out of the workplace.
At Lutheran colleges, students prepare not only to enter competitive careers but also to become lifelong learners, well-rounded members of society, and people whose lives constantly reflect Christ. The education provided by Lutheran institutions teaches students values that will stay with them for a lifetime. Students’ education is not separate from their faith; it is forever intertwined, as education is simply the teaching of God’s creation. Professors are academics of the highest distinction, as well as faithful Christians who can be found among students in church services, daily chapel, and various Bible studies.
Many assume, however, that Lutheran colleges – because they are often small and private – can be quite expensive, and this can make it feel like a Lutheran education is out of reach. The reality is: Lutheran education can still be very accessible, even for students whose college funds are not as significant. Financial aid, scholarships, and merit-based institutional aid are options that Lutheran universities present to students, even those whose financial need is not as great. At Concordia, undergraduate students receive an average of $29,000 each year in financial aid from these sources. In fact, the cost of an undergraduate education at Concordia is comparable to most large public universities in the Midwest.
For the most part, Lutheran colleges also offer the same on- and off-campus opportunities that public colleges do. Unlike many public universities, however, Christian colleges are more likely to enforce on-campus bans on drugs and alcohol, as well as emphasize (and teach) important life values like honesty, respect and love for others. Several U.S. Christian college campuses are even listed among the safest in the nation. They do not lack opportunities for fun-loving students, but they are lacking in danger, crime, and various other negative aspects of student life.
Lutheran colleges also have opportunities that go beyond those at public universities, including unique ones for mission work, volunteering, and the study of God’s Word. At Concordia, student-led Bible studies occur throughout the week, and the all-campus Attic Bible study takes place every Sunday evening at 5:30. Worship opportunities abound, from Wednesday-night Praise to Sunday morning church and daily weekday chapel services. Mission opportunities also take center stage at Concordia, with students traveling to countries like Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Poland to participate in the sharing of God’s Word or doing the same in the Seward community.
“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Proverbs 16:3). At Lutheran colleges, work in any field is done in service to the Lord. Students are recognized as unique members of the body of Christ, and they are known – known for putting God first, known by their community, and known for making an impact. In a Lutheran school, no student is left behind, and all have value as God’s children.
So although there are many points to consider when choosing a college, Lutheran schools make the choice easy: students who want to grow their talents as well as their faith while engaging in a culture that focuses on Christ will find just that. They will find a community that cares for them both during and beyond their time in college, friends who will value them, and faculty and staff who will support them and uplift them. Studying at a Lutheran college is a unique and life-changing experience.
Want to learn more about studying at Concordia? Schedule a visit here.