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10 Myths About Christian College Students



"All Christians are Republicans." Elephant in the room (pun most definitely intended): most Christian students will align with conservative politics. BUT, that's not to say that only conservative politics are Christian.

Having done my undergraduate and graduate studies at two separate Christian colleges, I feel I can speak with some authority on this matter. It's difficult to legitimately stereotype students at Christian college because if you've ever attended one, you will have noted the fierce diversity in social, cultural, and, well, romantic behavior. But alas, society still affirms some generalizations that, while I understand where they're coming from, are sorely mistaken. So, allow me to clarify some of the heavy-hitter stereotypes of students at Christian colleges:

1) They don't know how to have fun

If you isolate "fun" to getting drunk and having sex, then perhaps the statement holds some validity. But how sad of a narrow-scope definition is that!? Students here enjoy recreation such as hiking, paint balling, sky-diving, snowboarding, actually having coherent discussions about life and progress in society, baking (only the women of course, but more on that later) and, for sure, sports. The school spirit at my school is pretty extreme; just check out one of our football games.

2) Girls only enroll to find a Christian husband

"Oh hey girl, you studying to get your MRS degree?" While it is inarguably cliché for girls to seek out their future beloveds in Christian college, there are plenty of ladies who...wait for it...are actually here pursuing their education! Go figure, huh?! We actually have women who are less concerned about getting married to the first guy who makes them swoon, and more concerned about pursuing their careers while further developing their intellect and skills! Now, if we're honest, we know that guys are guilty of the same agenda in some cases. I want a woman who will serve next to me in ministry, says the freshman pastoral major. Dude, freshie, you're gonna change your major 6 times before your junior year anyway, so don't be so quick to objectify your future spouse as vocational leverage.

3) They're all Republicans

Elephant in the room (pun most definitely intended): most Christian students will align with conservative politics. BUT, that's not to say that only conservative politics are Christian. Just hang out with the political science department and you'll soon see the Libertarians, Moderates, and, yes, even some dirty, rotten Democrats surface! They may lurk, but they are here, and we love them all the same :) And can I just say that there are some smaaaaart and politically aware students wandering about. Oh, and for those who are conservative, their values don't just stem from their pro-life advocacy (though that is extremely important). Students are well-versed in economic, social, and foreign affairs, despite their partisan alliance.

4) They're all into "courting"

5 minutes. You spent 5 minutes walking around a Christian campus and you will see some of THE MOST awkward couples – I mean, more awkward than you would imagine awkward being. Oh, and they're sketch. Like, some even have the nerve to interdigitate their fingers when they're holding hands. Talk about walking in the flesh! All that to say...NO, courtship is definitely not the dating method of choice. While some pursuers will still seek the blessing of his pursuee's father, that still doesn't qualify as a courting relationship. I'm not advocating either romantic methodology; I’m simply saying that courtship is definitely the lesser chosen path.

5) They're all hypocrites

This one hits home for me. I've been on both sides of the fence, as much as I would like to say otherwise. I've been the hypocrite and the faulty accuser of hypocrisy. It's hard because the word hypocrite is often mistaken for imperfect. A hypocrite is one who preaches one thing and willingly practices the opposite. This is different than one who preaches something because they hold it to be true and still recognizes the weakness of the flesh and that they too may stumble. Christians have never claimed to be perfect and never will. We pursue righteousness, but we are not fully righteous. We pursue love but we are not always loving. For those who have been hurt by a Christian, I apologize. I don't know where the idea came from that Christians were perfect, so allow me to dispel that right now. We're all a work in progress.

6) They all believe women belong in the home

If there was ever an appropriate time to say "LOL," it would be here. The illustration says it all. In fact the more you study the Bible, the less evidence you see that supports this gender oppression. Regardless, there is a large population of women at Christian universities who aspire to lead in business, ministry, politics, entertainment, etc. I’ve studied alongside women who no doubt will be leaders in D.C. and will have tremendous impact in the world. For the women who desire to be housewives, that is also to be celebrated. But know that the prohibition of women in leadership is not an oppressive agenda that Christian universities support.

7) They're all judgmental

I take issue with this one. If you have been burned by a judgmental Christian, then I am sorry for this. This should not have happened, nor is it within the paradigm of Christian practice. However, it should be noted that accountability is different than judgment. If someone is making a poor decision it’s okay to call them out – indeed it’s loving if their welfare is taken into consideration. Accountability should be held regardless of religious practice, and this is often misunderstood for being "judgy." Perhaps a reason for this misinterpretation is the lack of love associated with it. Accountability should always be saturated in love with the hope or restoration. So, while I admit that some are judgmental, I will defend them as being righteous in their calling out and being misidentified as jerks.

8) They hate homosexuals

I for the largest, most unapologetically politically conservative universities in the world. We recently contracted a homosexual to choreograph one of our theater department's productions. This contract came under heavy fire from many outside of my school. The students? They were welcoming him with open arms. (See: Liberty University Hired A Gay!? Mr. Goldberg, Welcome!) Any hated on our campus is strictly isolated to bigoted individuals. These attitudes to not advocate Christ nor the vast majority of the student body. We have students who identify as LGBT, and while the lifestyle itself may conflict with our faith, we do not hold hostility towards them as outcasts, lesser-thans, or hell-bound rebels unable to receive the sanctification of Jesus Christ. We love them :)

9) They're unexperienced

Are we really to expect our 18-21 year olds to have all the experience in the world? Of course not. But to be fair, this myth generally refers to social or street-smart experience. The problem with this myth is that is presupposes that all Christians are raised under a rock, and thus have no voice for cultural authority. But that is simply not the case. I walk the halls and rub shoulders with students who have lived overseas, worked with the oppressed, put themselves in the danger zone to ensure the welfare of others, military veterans, and others who had a time gap between high school and college. But even those who came straight from high school still have much to say about relative issues and carry themselves just fine.

10) They're not smart enough to get into a real college

Fake college? I went to a fake college for my undergraduate education and some of my colleagues are now studying law at USC, Georgetown and Penn State. That's all I will say about that.

JWR


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