Considering Bible College
For years we have heard it, Bible college is not for everyone. I tend to agree; Bible college is not for everyone. It is, however, for some. It is for the young people, (and sometimes older people) who feel a specific call to ministry. Or, maybe it is for those who are unsure what they are searching for. But what benefit does Bible college bring to a young person, if any? Why should they uproot their life and move to a new state for education when they can do practically the same thing at home?
These questions, and others like them, are great. They deserve consideration, and if a young person cannot clearly articulate the answers, they may need to consider another path than Bible college, or perhaps they should consider the following.
Throughout recent history, young people have left the comfort of home to strike out on their own. Accompanying this new independence, are lessons foundational to young adults as they grow. However, secular college classrooms are increasingly hostile toward Christianity, and campus life is not any better. New cities and new friends often disconnect life-long Apostolic friendships and the new church they are attending is not their home church. All of these reasons and more contribute to the sharp drop off of church attendance among 18-22-year-olds. Lifeway Research notes that the number one reason 18-22-year-olds stop attending church is because they moved away to college ([page 15](http://lifewayresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Young-Adult-Church-Dropout-Report-2017.pdf)).
Given these facts, there are a few tangible benefits to attending Bible college.
The first benefit of attending Bible college is consistency. College students need consistency during this time of life upheaval. By selecting to attend a Bible college, young adults intentionally choose to establish a foundation in God’s Word, even if they only attend for a year. And to the arguments that say “You’re wasting your time by pursuing education outside of your intended career path,” consider this: research reveals that 80% of college students will change their major at least once. This means that if a student attends Bible college and then changes their major, well, at least they ‘wasted’ their time studying the Scripture instead of facing anti-Christian sentiments from secular college classrooms.
Benefit number two for attending Bible college is community. Increasing research decries the ability of technology to truly connect humanity. This means that even though we are drowning in the ability to connect digitally, we are on a lonely island of isolation that offers little genuine connection. This isolation only intensifies when students move hundreds, maybe even thousands, of miles from home for school. Friday night youth events are replaced with college campus life, and then no one calls on Monday to express your presence was missed on Sunday. Christian community can quickly be lost. By attending Bible college, students immerse themselves in a community of like-minded people. This immersion forges friendships that are forever. Dorm room conversations orient hearts toward Christ. This community enables deep spiritual growth.
The third benefit to attending Bible college is cost. When comparing similar institutions of higher education we find that Bible college is a fraction of the cost. The average yearly price of all UPCI Bible colleges is only about $7,838. Regardless of whether students change majors and transfer to a secular college after a year, or attend for a full four years, the monetary appeal of excellent education at a low cost is worth considering. If a student graduates from Bible college the monetary appeal is only underscored. A growing number of Bible college graduates are able to transfer degrees directly into graduate-level work. This allows students to continue higher education while keeping overall student debt low.
So if you find yourself asking, “Is Bible college for me?” Pray about it. Talk to your parents and your pastor. It might not be for everyone, but it may be for you!