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Make the Right Choice


The cost of a college education is more than dollars and cents.


Make the Right Choice

by Rusty Campbell


“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the know-ledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:9-10).


Perils of a Secular Education

College students are at a critical point in their lives. It is a time when they develop an identity, formulate worldviews, and prepare for independence. Although the decision of where to attend college will have a significant impact on students and families for the rest of their lives, many still fail to consider Christian higher education as a viable option.

Dr. Steven J. Henderson, president of Christian Consulting for Colleges and Ministries, wrote an article in Christianity Today about why parents and students should choose a Christian college. The most revealing statistic from Dr. Henderson’s study was that 52% of incoming freshmen who identify themselves as born-again and attend a public university will no longer identify themselves as born-again four years later. Freshmen who attend private secular colleges have a greater rejection rate at 63%.

In light of such grim statistics, many parents might contend that their child would fall into the 48% who did not reject their faith after four years. After all, they had 18 years to train and prepare them for what they will face at the university.

However, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post reported a study that concluded 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are self-described liberals: “The liberal label that a majority of the faculty members attached to themselves is reflected in a variety of issues. The professors and instructors surveyed are, strongly or somewhat, in favor of abortion rights (84%); believe homosexuality is acceptable (67%); and want more environmental protection ‘even if it raises prices or costs jobs’ (88%).”


Alternative to a Secular Education

At Free Will Baptist Bible College, our mission is to educate leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world through biblical thought and life. When I visit families of prospective students and discuss the potential role that FWBBC can play in their lives, I usually encounter a number of objections as to why they can’t see themselves at FWBBC. Here are four that frequently arise.


Reason #1–Attending FWBBC is too expensive.

The subtitle to Dr. Henderson’s article asks: Is A Lower Price Worth the Cost? The impetus for his research was the downward spiral of his own freshman daughter who went to a public institution on a scholarship. He contends that the cost of the pain and suffering their family endured far exceeded the monetary savings of attending the public institution.

That’s why FWBBC is committed to helping students pay for their education and graduate with a minimum of debt. The good news is that 90% of our student population currently receives some type of financial aid. In 2008, that financial aid totaled nearly $4 million, which means substantial resources are available in the form of scholarships and federal aid, and are within the reach of almost every FWBBC student. Each semester, some 300 FWBBC students find ways to finance their education. You can be one of that number, and we can help!


Reason #2–FWBBC doesn’t have my major, so I must go somewhere else.

While it is true many Christian colleges only offer a handful of degrees, “up to 50% of college students change their majors at least once before graduation, and some several times” (Leonard, 2009). A student can obtain a solid biblical foundation by attending a Christian college his first two years. Dr. Henderson’s research shows that the first year of college is the most critical for establishing a course for religious commitment while in college.

At FWBBC, we are aware of the need for Christian laity in a variety of fields for which we do not offer degrees. However, we also have a number of associate’s degrees that can be obtained in two years. With regional and national accreditation, these degrees can transfer to virtually any college to be applied toward a bachelor’s degree in a student’s field of choice.


Reason #3–FWBBC is just for preachers and missionaries.

FWBBC offers over 40 programs of study. These programs include not only pastoral ministry, youth ministry, missions, and teacher education, but they also include sports management, psychology, business, English, science, music, pre-law, pre-nursing, and others.

One of the benefits of a FWBBC education is that all our graduates are required to take a strong core of Bible classes. FWBBC believes this is a key component in fulfilling the mission of educating leaders to serve Christ and His Church.


Reason #4–I won’t be able to do anything with a degree from FWBBC.

FWBBC is accredited regionally by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The commission also accredits the best private and public institutions, including flagship state universities, throughout the southeast region.
FWBBC also maintains its longstanding accreditation with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), which is approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

The FWBBC teacher education program is approved by the Tennessee State Department of Education to offer degrees leading to teacher education licensure in grades Pre K-12.
Many FWBBC graduates transition easily into graduate school once a bachelor’s degree has been obtained. Additionally, the teacher education program enjoys a 100% placement rate for graduates, and approximately 75% of business graduates will have job placement on graduation day.


You Always Have a Choice

While the importance of a Christian education is significant for today’s culture, it is not a new phenomenon. Daniel and his peers faced the same challenges 2,500 years ago when the Babylonians forced their culture on the captive Hebrew teenagers (Daniel 1). As the author of the Proverb said, “…the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

Choosing Christian higher education provides young people with the biblical foundation necessary to navigate the postmodern culture of today. Like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, may our students be found 10 times better in all matters of wisdom and understanding in all the realm.

This brings us back to Dr. Henderson’s question: Is the lower price of a secular education worth the cost? Remember that you can choose the Christian education alternative at FWBBC, and we are ready to help you make that option a reality.

For more information regarding Free Will Baptist Bible College, visit To request information about attending FWBBC or to learn more about financial aid, please send an email to:


About the Writer: Rusty Campbell is director of enrollment services at Free Will Baptist Bible College. Learn more about the college at



  1. Henderson, Stephen J., “A Question of Price Versus Cost,” Christianity Today (March 2006): 80.

  2. Kurtz, Howard, “College Faculties a Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds.” The Washington Post, March 29, 2005, sec. C, p. 1.

  3. Leonard, Michael J., “Major Decisions for Students Exploring Majors.” Penn State, (accessed August 25, 2010).


©2011 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists