The college experience(including the application process) is so particularly unique. There are so many good things in it that make it be so fascinating and a stressful burden at the same time. From SATs, to essays, recommendation letters, good grades, to extracurricular activities, the process of choosing, applying and getting in can definitely become a major overwhelming experience for individuals or families who are desperately trying to get into college.
Very few people discuss getting into college from a Christian perspective. It would help to hear what our God has to say about a big stage in life as is tertiary education.
This overwhelm of getting into college includes three major challenges:
- Motivational challenge(psychological challenge, the “can I really get into a good school?)
- Academic challenge (good grades, SAT score and similar)
- Finding the right fit(for a Christian, this is an important aspect to consider)
Fortunately for you, advice on the Bible on how to tackle academic challenges from a great Christ-loving, Christ-centered perspective is available.
For this series of Scriptures on this lovely topic, I’ll be sharing the Scriptures + a great personal anecdote that relates to the subject and shows how faithful God is in the academic aspect.
So, pay attention to the anecdotes. We have to be so thankful to the Lord that Scripture tackles the all the three major challenges of getting into college.
Tackling the Academic Challenge from Scripture:
1. James 1:5:
5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”.
Back when I was in school, and I was deepening my walk with Jesus something jaw-dropping happened. I was a really average math student, think like C+ student. But as I deepened my walk with the Lord in one year, you will be amazed to find out what happened.
I went from being an really average math student to an A+, top of the class student who even got invited by the math teacher to participate in the school’s Math Competition.
This didn’t make sense to me, someone who was completely average at math and definitely not a genius. But I know the One who did this. It was the Lord giving me wisdom.
2. James 1:17:
James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.
It is my wish to share with you a powerful testimony that is a beautiful display of God’s power to bless someone. Scientists state that intelligence can either be developed or inherited, but they few of them know the power of the Lord.
A Christian family I personally know is a very peculiar case of God’s intelligence-granting proclivity. This family, which is composed of parents of average intelligence, has one daughter who is a Math Olympiad, Physics Olympiad, Chemistry Olympiad, Fulbright-scholarship-winner type of student.
If intelligence is strictly inherited, then scientists would have a hard time explaining this case. This is why the apostle James wrote: “every good gift comes from above”. The good gift of intelligence comes only from the Lord and he can give you Ivy-league intelligence. In this case, this also shows that the children of Christian parents are often blessed easily by God.
So, I encourage you to ask diligently for intelligence for your yourself or your children, whatever is your case and our generous Father will respond.
Tackling the Motivational Challenge From Scripture:
3. Philippians 4:13:
Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.
Getting into a great college is a way of serving the Lord.
4. Romans 12:11:
Romans 12:11: “Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically”.
5. Proverbs 16:3:
Proverbs 16:3: “Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed”.
6. 1 Corinthians 10:31: Grades For The Glory Of God Only
1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.
It was a great motivation for me in my life to study hard not for me, not just so I could have a better career, better job, etc but because everything I do must be for the glory of God.
7. Colossians 3:23: Not Even For College Admission Officers
Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving”.
So, if you are a Christian parent that’s helping your child achieve a high SAT score, or really excel in his or her extracurricular activities, remember it must all be for the Lord, not even college admission officers!
Who knows what special ministry the Lord has for your Christian child in the college that he/she’ll get into? Maybe your son or daughter will talk to his/her professors about Christ and save them from hell.
8. Matthew 19:26: Getting into a great school is more than possible with the Lord
Matthew 19:26: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Want to get into the Ivy League or another great school? Ask our generous Heavenly Father and He will give it to you. Keep trusting the Lord, and working hard for the Lord, not admissions officers.
Okay, so now that we’ve covered the first to challenges, it’s time to cover the third major challenge.
The one so many college applicants and parents worry about: finding a good fit.
I’ll tell you something important right now.
For a Christian that loves the Lord Jesus, it’s NOT about finding a “good” fit. But finding a “Godly” fit.
Finding A School That’s Great Fit, From A Christ-Centered Perspective
Many times you hear students saying: “I want to find a school that’s a good fit for me!!”, and college counselors as well advise their students the same: “find a school that’s a good fit for you”.
What does this mean for Christians?
Those are the Scriptures on getting wisdom the Lord can give you to get into a great college, but there is another aspect of the college experience that needs to also be covered on this post.
It’s the aspect of the college life itself. This aspect can influence AFTER you get in. That, a Christian who loves the Lord Jesus has definitely got to take into consideration.
For this, we have to first take a look at this two Bible verses, which I’ll explain how they relate to the college experience below:
9. Matthew 7:24:
Matthew 7:24: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock”.
For her master’s degree, my sister applied to Berkeley, Lehigh University and Iowa State University. She wanted to study Energy Systems Engineering.
Long story short, she got into Berkeley and Lehigh. How did she choose between the two?
With the help from a professor who gave her Christian advice to help her choose and by using this Bible verse.
Her professor told her that Berkeley would actually be too liberal with leftist values that would probably make her uncomfortable while attending Berkeley.
In other words, her professor said that the liberal mindset of the Berkeley campus would probably be a challenge for her as a Christian and child of the Lord, and would not contribute to her happiness.
In the end, the choice she made depended on how strong her faith was, and whether she would be capable to “handle” the Berkeley liberal mindset without it affecting her comfort as a Christian.
In the end, she chose Lehigh and not Berkeley.
So what’s the point behind all of this? Below is the answer.
10. Matthew 5:14: “It depends on you which school is a good fit for you.
In the end, she made a decision depending on how strong her faith was. If her faith had been super strong like a rock and with a thick skin, then, the Berkeley liberal values would not have even been an issue at all.
But if you’re like her, and your Christian faith would be bothered by watching so much “liberal” behavior around you in campus, or anywhere you go, then you must select a Christian college, or a conservative college.
Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Just like my sister, this is something every college-applicant Christian who loves Jesus will go through.
But in the end, I want you to know that whatever choice you make, it will glorify God. Why? Because if you end up going to a place where liberal sinful behavior is rampant, and if you are a strong Christian, then you can lead people to Christ.
In the case of Berkeley, if my sister had chosen that school then she would have led people to Christ there. She would have been a light to those people. Because, since this is California we’re talking about, in many liberal schools Berkeley, Christians are needed as the vast majority of the students in there do not know Christ.
In conclusion, always use these Scriptures during the college application process(and acceptance) for you or your family, and pray for God’s guidance in what is a very important decision.
If you loved this post, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to see your comments.