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October-November 2021

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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 knowledge 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 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 the study was that 52% of incoming freshmen who identify themselves as born-again and attend a public university no longer identify themselves as born-again four years later. Freshmen who attend private secular colleges have an even greater rejection rate at 63%.

Many Christian parents might contend 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 might face at the university.

However, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post reported a study that concluded 72% 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

The mission of Welch College is to educate leaders to serve Christ, His Church, and His world through biblical thought and life. Families of prospective students sometimes raise objections as to why their student cannot attend Welch. Here are four false notions that frequently arise.

Objection #1 : Attending Welch 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 the cost of the pain and suffering his family endured far exceeded the monetary savings of attending the public institution.

That’s why Welch is committed to helping students pay for education and graduate with a minimum of debt. The good news is that 90% of the student population currently receives some type of financial aid. Substantial resources are available in the form of scholarships and federal aid and are within the reach of almost every Welch student. Semester by semester, hundreds of Welch students find ways to finance their education. You can be one of that number, and the college can help.

Objection #2 : Welch doesn’t have my major, so I must go somewhere else.

While it is true many Christian colleges offer only a handful of degrees, according to a 2017 survey from the U.S. Department of Education, more than 30% of college students change their majors at least once before graduation, and 10% change majors three times or more (Datapoint, December 2017). This means a student can obtain a solid biblical foundation by attending a Christian college his first two years. Dr. Henderson’s research shows the first year of college is the most critical for establishing a course for religious commitment while in college.

Welch College is aware of the need for Christian laity in a variety of fields in which we do not offer degrees. However, we also have many associate 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 the student’s field of choice.

Objection #3 : Welch is only for preachers and missionaries.

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

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

Objection #4 : I won’t be able to do anything with a degree from Welch.

Welch is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSOC). The commission also accredits the best private and public institutions, including flagship state universities, throughout the southeast region.

Welch 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 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 graduates transition easily into graduate school after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, the teacher education program enjoys a 100% placement rate for graduates, and approximately 75% of business graduates already 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 ten times better in all matters of wisdom and understanding.

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

For more information, visit To request information about attending Welch, or to learn more about financial aid, visit

About the Author: Rusty Campbell is administrator of Pleasant View Christian School in Pleasant View, Tennessee.


©2021 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists