Featured Articles – Christian Universities Online http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org The Trusted Online Guide to Christian Colleges & Universities. Thu, 02 Nov 2017 18:27:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Christian Principles in the Field of Healthcare Administration http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/christian-principles-in-the-field-of-healthcare-administration/ Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:04:11 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?p=5014

Jesus, the Great Physician, healed dozens of blind, leprous and paralytic men and women during His earthly ministry. You, too, can offer healing and hope as a healthcare administrator, a job that gives you the responsibility and rewards of helping sick people become well.

While you won’t possess miraculous healing powers, you can ensure hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, outpatient care centers and diagnostic laboratories run smoothly and efficiently. Combine your desire to heal with ministry as you cultivate several Christian principles while pursuing a healthcare administration degree and career.

Leadership

Administrators typically lead a team of professionals and must know how to resolve conflict, be decisive and model servanthood. Learn these leadership skills now as you prepare for a career that requires leadership every day.

Communication

Managing people requires excellent communication skills. Hone your communication skills with your friends, teachers and family as you prepare to communicate effectively in a God-honoring way in the future.

Teamwork

Every medical professional works with a team of care providers. Learn how to be at peace with everyone as you work with people who think, act and believe differently than you, provide excellent care to patients and witness for Christ on the job.

Wisdom

Sometimes, your job as a healthcare administrator will place you in challenging situations that require you to make tough decisions. Wisdom will assist you in clarifying the right path for every situation, and true wisdom comes from God. Spend time daily reading the Bible and praying, and fellowship regularly with other believers. Practice asking God for insight in your daily life, too, as you stay connected to God and prepare to work in a career where you will need wisdom only He can provide.

Work Ethic

Administrative roles require critical thinking, problem solving and general healthcare technical skills, and your days will be filled with duties, responsibilities and decisions. The Apostle Paul instructs Christians to do all their work as unto the Lord. Instead of laziness, cultivate a strong work ethic in every task you do as you become equipped to help others and serve God.

Accountability

Every boss needs someone to help him or her stay grounded. Ask a mentor to hold you accountable. Wise men and women accept correction as they seek to please God in all areas of life.

Empathy and Compassion

God loves His people with an everlasting love. As humans, our love is finite, but you can ask God to fill you with empathy and compassion. These traits allow you to view every person you meet as an individual who is worthy of respect and dignity.

Honesty and Trustworthiness

Your staff and patients rely on you to tell the truth in all circumstances and to maintain confidentiality. Whether you’re listening to a patient’s complaint or handling a feud among co-workers, you must be honest and trustworthy. Start now to practice this necessary trait.

An Even Temper

In many working environments, anger is commonplace. Be different when you become slow to anger – pause before you react, seek to get all the facts before making an emotional decision and try to see issues from the other person’s perspective. Your ability to control anger will have a positive effect on your workplace.

Respect for Others

Your patients and co-workers need to know that you respect them, value their opinions, listen when they speak and follow the same rules you ask them to obey as you manage the office. Morale improves and your staff will operate more efficiently and with greater productivity when they know you respect them.

Humility

Even though you’re the boss with many strengths, you will make mistakes. Humility allows you to recognize your faults, apologize for wrongdoing and work to improve any areas of weakness that may prevent you from doing the best job possible. Humility also helps you remain grateful rather than prideful for your position of power and authority.

As a healthcare administrator, you must understand the professional and technical aspects of the field, and as a Christian, you are called to practice biblical principles. At Central Christian College, you receive the professional and spiritual training you need to prepare for a job in healthcare administration.

**This is a paid advertisement**

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Hard Questions – Honest Answers 102 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/hard-questions-honest-answers-102/ Wed, 30 Mar 2016 17:09:15 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?p=3215 SDC3

As you consider your journey toward whatever goal you have (ministry, career, etc.), the subject of higher education is certain to enter the process.  Undergraduate degrees, Grad School and Seminary are all viable options (and often they are necessary steps) to help reach your goal.

Along the way, you will encounter some hard questions.  Sometimes, the answers to your questions should come from an external source (as opposed to a person or entity that has an interest in their answer!).  This is not to question the credibility of those within an industry – that their position would color their response in order to make their industry look more attractive than appropriate – it is to validate their responses with cross-referenced information (see Proverbs 15:22).

With this in mind, we will now discuss some hard questions and provide some honest answers!

Q: If I believe a Degree is in my best interest, what type of Degree Program (Certificate, Associates or Bachelors) should I pursue?

A: It depends on many variables

We will start our discussion with the assumption that you have determined (after much research, time and consideration) that a degree is necessary for your particular path.  The answer for what type of program will answer itself in some circumstances; you may have multiple options for others.

Consider: If you are a young person who seeks a senior pastorship one day, a Certificate program could be the best option.  This is because a Certificate will help get employment and you will gain experience (and income) to continue your growth process and save up for additional coursework at Seminary (similar to a ‘work-study’ program).

If you are more career-minded but don’t necessarily have the time (or cash flow) to attend a 4-year school full-time, then pursuing your Associates Degree may be the best stepping stone on your way.  There are accredited Community Colleges where you can earn transferable credits (which is a lower-cost alternative).

Too often, matriculating to college is ‘expected’ once your diploma is in hand.  This is not necessary – degrees are awarded to graduates of all ages!  There really is NO RUSH in continuing your formal education.  The attitude of college recruiters is to ‘strike while the iron is hot’ and sign up as many new freshmen as possible (without regard to their readiness for college).  A decision to attend college should be followed up immediately by the decision WHEN to attend college.  But I digress.

In order to properly determine which program type is best, you must weigh these components:

  1. Do I have capacity for full-time education (I will pay for it and not have capacity to earn much more than spending money)?

Attending a 4-year school full time is expensive and, by definition, will take four years of your time to complete.  For many, this is acceptable through student loans and grants; although the debt load at graduation can be large (depending on the school and program chosen).  It accomplishes your degree and prepares you to launch your career without contingency.  There is a gamble, however, since the classroom and office/field are very different from each other.  It is a real risk to get into your field and realize that you just don’t enjoy the work!

  1. Is there a compelling need to complete a degree program as soon as possible?

Some fields have a great need for qualified workers NOW.  If this is the case, then it is in your best interest to pursue the degree and get to work as soon as possible.  If the answer is no, then you will need to return to item #1 above and make sure you have capacity (since the risk of missing a strong opportunity is minimal).

  1. Would an alternative path (i.e. Certificate or Associates) be just as viable to meet my needs now?

There can be a great benefit to starting down a career path while learning about the field you are in.  Some employers offer tuition reimbursement to current employees.  Also, you are exposed to the industry without being locked in.  If you don’t like the work and don’t see a satisfactory path through the unpleasant portions, you are free to change your direction without feeling like you wasted money and time on a degree in a field you aren’t interested in.

  1. What is the risk of delaying college until I have capacity (money + time)?

Hard on the heels of item #4 is the risk assessment of delaying.  Once you enter the workforce, it is hard to forego an income to attend full-time classes (even if there is quantifiable reward at the end of the journey).  It is a hard decision – particularly if there are others (spouse and/or children) depending on your income by the time you can return to school.

Consider this wild-card thought: outside of legal, medical and other scientific fields, a significant portion of college graduates are no longer in the industry associated with their degree program after 5-10 years!  Will this impact your decision process?

 

 

 

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Hard Questions – Honest Answers 101 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/hard-questions-honest-answers-101/ Mon, 15 Feb 2016 21:31:27 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?p=3213 IMG_2910

As you consider your journey toward whatever goal you have (ministry, career, etc.), the subject of higher education is certain to enter the process.  An accredited Christian college, a top Christian graduate program, and Seminary are all viable options (and often they are necessary steps) to help reach your goal.

Along the way, you will encounter some hard questions.  Sometimes, the answers to your questions should come from an external source (as opposed to a person or entity that has an interest in their answer!).  This is not to question the credibility of those within an industry – that their position would color their response in order to make their industry look more attractive than appropriate – it is to validate their responses with cross-referenced information (see Proverbs 15:22).

I trust an automaker who tells me that their product is safe.  They have conducted tests in various circumstances and (presumably) have addressed any shortcomings those tests revealed.  I also appreciate the National Transportation and Highway Board to conduct independent tests to confirm the safety of those same vehicles.  It isn’t that the manufacturers are not credible, but they have a direct interest in the impact of the test results: safer cars will sell; unsafe cars will not sell.  Third-party (read: unaffiliated) validation becomes important to prevent (or reveal) self-serving information.

In the same way, the value and benefit of having a higher education degree comes largely from the halls of academia – where there is a direct benefit from students pursuing higher degrees!  While there may be validity in the assessment (of high degrees in the marketplace), independent research should play a significant role in a student’s decision.  This may not truly be a situation where the fox is guarding the hen house, but it is within the same barnyard!

With this in mind, we will now discuss some hard questions and provide some honest answers!

Q: Is a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and/or Doctorate necessary for my ministry or career?

A: Maybe.

A definite maybe.  The facts are not very cheerful, though.  The cost of tuition, books, housing and time should reap a benefit (in strict business terms that is ‘return on investment’).  However, at a Bachelor’s Degree level, the job prospects are not great.  According to CareerBuilder.com:

Nearly half (47 percent) of college-educated workers said their first job after college was not related to their college major. Thirty-two percent of college-educated workers reported that they never found a job related to their college major. Among more seasoned workers – those ages 35 and older – that number is 31 percent

And Accenture.com:

Forty-six percent of workers who graduated from college in the past two years [Survey date = 2014] say they are underemployed and working in jobs that do not require their college degrees, an increase from 41 percent of recent graduates in our 2013 survey.

Benefits of a degree do include the fact that it can be a baseline requirement for some jobs.  College graduates generally make more money than non-grads do; but that is not as big a distinction as it once was.  In fact, spending 4 years pursuing a degree in some fields (like tech) may be a handicap as compared to someone who interned at a tech company and got hands-on experience with the current level of technology!

Many hiring managers look for a degree only as a demonstration of the pursuit of a goal and completion of a program – regardless of what that program was!  This may diminish the value of the specific program in favor of merely BEING a college-level program!

Opinions are split on the issue and you can find just as many pro college opinions as opposite.  Most often, the benefits of a college education are stated in these bullet points:

  1. Higher earnings – at start and downstream.

Cheatsheet.com reported that the average starting salary for a college grad is $46,000 whereas the starting salary for a high school grad is $32,000.  While $14,000 per year looks significant, that income comes with debt (which will likely eat up $50-100/month for the rest of your life); this will require a value judgment as to whether or not the time and expense if worth the income (and the income difference does not account for the 4 years of time between high school and college – the data for 4 years’ experience and raises is not available for a truly head-to-head comparison).

  1. Many jobs require a college degree.

Certain professions will not entertain an application that does NOT have a degree attached.  And there are those companies that will only advance staff that has a degree (regardless of the actual degree field).  However, the typical industries where this occurs are teaching, health care and legal – there are far more industries that will not have the requirement.

  1. The college experience will help a student mature and become more responsible.

The idea of “responsibility” being mentioned in the same breath as “college” is not necessarily valid.  Next time you see (or attend) a college sporting event, try to picture the bleacher occupants in a board room.  Enough said.

A Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley published an article in November 2014 stating that in the early 1980’s, college grads earned 64% more than high school grads.  That difference swelled to 98% more in 2013.  However, he cites a huge qualification: a college degree does not guarantee a job in today’s market!  He then cites that according to the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, 46% of college graduates are working in jobs that don’t require degrees.

This, he claims, is a driving force on the income disparity: college grads are doing diploma-level work, so diploma holders are pushed farther down the employment chain to more menial (lower paying) jobs.

This is certainly still the case in our recent post-recession economy as college grads who spent 2 years looking for work are taking any opportunity available – to the detriment of high school graduates.

When you review the data, it is sadly inconclusive for most high school graduates.  Yes, college is definitely in the path for high-level medical professionals (doctors, nurses, researchers and clinicians), law and engineering disciplines.  But for many other fields, the answer is not so clear-cut.  For the typical student, pursuing a degree is worthwhile; the benefits are measurable.  But it is still a decision that requires much more research to confirm your choice.

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From Every Tribe, Tongue and Nation: Diversity and Christian Universities http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/diversity-christian-universities/ Tue, 26 Jan 2016 05:40:57 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?page_id=3118 When you think of Christian universities in the United States, you probably don’t think of a cultural melting pot. You might even think of a student body overwhelmed by WASPs, one that is only getting whiter, more affluent, and more protestant as Christian America is shrinking in the twenty-first century. If so, you’d be wrong. Today, Christian colleges and universities have cultivated student populations that are on par with flagship universities in terms of racial and socioeconomic diversity. Here’s how we know.

Using CollegeData, we’ve analyzed 140 Christian universities that are listed as members or affiliates of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). For this list, a school is considered a Christian college or university if its curriculum is rooted in the arts and sciences and its mission is Christ-centered. In some cases, like when we talk about the distribution of minority students among student populations, we’ve compared demographic data from private, Christian universities with demographic data from flagship universities. In other cases, we’ve used data provided by Pew Research Center and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to determine if Christian universities reflect national numbers for the racial makeup and socioeconomic status of Christians throughout the United States.

The verdict? Despite declines in retention that are significantly higher for Christian universities than their flagship counterparts, the Christian college is alive and well in America today. And although its population may be sloping downward right now, it’s doing a better job of reflecting the growing diversity among Christian Americans every year.

A Brief History of Diversity at the American Christian College

Most private universities in the United States were historically founded as Christian institutions of higher learning. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton are just three of the first many on a long list of American institutions that share this heritage.

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During and after the Industrial Revolution, American colleges adopted more practical courses that would meet increasing economic demand for industrial ingenuity. In other words, they began offering more classes in science and technology than biblical theology. By the end of the American Civil War and the turn of the twentieth century, Christian universities were taking notes from Darwin in order to survive the paradigm shift from small, private colleges to the large, public, research-driven American universities we see today.

Not without catching their fair share of blowback for charges of apostasy in the form of secularization, public universities that championed these curricular changes ended up expanding educational opportunities for African Americans and women in the twentieth century. These policies at secular, public universities eventually trickled down to produce greater racial diversity nationwide, and which we see on Christian campuses today. This especially came true after the civil rights movement, which brought more conservative Christian institutions to their knees but repelled more liberal-minded Christian universities from their private, sectarian roots. As a result, religious tests were dropped from hiring procedures at many of these institutions, so that faculties became nearly as diverse as at state schools, while curricula began to focus almost exclusively on public concerns.

To this day, the declining number of sectarian Christian schools and rising number of public-minded Christian schools continues, slowly but steadily. Christian universities across the U.S. have become nearly as diverse as public flagship universities. Whites make up roughly the same share of the student population at Christian universities (71.1%) as at public, flagship universities (69.5%). This means that about 7 out of every 10 students on campus at both an average flagship and Christian university will be white, while roughly 3 out of every 10 will be people of color. This increased diversity reflects a broader trend noted by the Pew Research Center in a 2015 report, which found that American Christians, like the U.S. population as a whole, are becoming more racially diverse. Between 2007 and 2014, the percentage of non-white Americans identifying themselves as Christian increased from 29 to 34 percent, meaning that today, more than 3 in every 10 American Christians are also people of color.

Regional Differences in Diversity and Debt

Christian universities on CCCU’s list cluster in the eastern half of the United States, with concentrations in the upper Midwest (but especially Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio), the middle Northeast (but especially Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts), and all over the South (but especially Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Texas). States with the most Christian colleges are Texas and California, with 6 out of every 35 Christian universities sampled (i.e., ~17%) residing in either Texas or California, and the vast majority of those in California residing in Southern California.

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Both Christian and flagship universities maintain majority White populations that mirror the majority (i.e., 69%) of non-Hispanic Whites in the United States. Of the 140 Christian universities sampled, three maintain student populations where the script is flipped, and Whites make up less than 30 percent of the population while people of color comprise over 70 percent. This can not be said for a single flagship university.

When it comes to monetary concerns, the percentage of financial need met for students at Christian universities weighs in at a majority of 70 percent, only 2 percent less than at flagship universities. Tuition also costs $3,016 less on average for students at Christian institutions, although graduates from Christian colleges and universities tend to leave campus with $1,497 more debt than graduates from flagship universities. Despite this discrepancy, Christian universities and flagship universities fall within $1000 of the national average for student loan debt in 2011, meaning that both types of institution represent an approximation of the national average for student debt in the same way they represent an approximation of the national non-Hispanic White population.

When it comes to progressive racial and economic representation, some Christian universities work ahead of the curve. Recognized by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities for leadership in the realm of diversity, New York’s Nyack College stands out as an institution that has fostered a lower percentage of Whites and higher percentage of people of color on its campus since winning CCCU’s Racial Harmony award in 2001. As the most racially, ethnically, and denominationally rich Christian university on our list, one of their core values is being intentionally diverse, as it supports a student population that is 23.2 percent White, 30.3 percent Hispanic/Latino, 32.1% Black, and 8.9% Asian. Unfortunately, such progressive measures don’t come without costs. Average indebtedness for 2011 graduates of Nyack College is in the 90th percentile of Christian institutions sampled, weighing in at $37,577–that’s over $10,000 greater than average student debt for graduates of Christian colleges and universities. Nyack College’s retention rate is also 10 points below the average for Christian colleges and universities, an average which is already 12 points below the national retention rate for flagship universities. In these respects, Nyack College is representative of a broader trend taking place not only at Christian colleges and universities, but also at American churches nationwide: an exodus.

The Christian Retention Crisis

According to data from Pew Research Center, the overall number of Christians in the United States is estimated to have declined from 178 million to 172 million between 2007 and 2014. That means the percentage of Christians declined from around 78 percent of the U.S. populace to around 71 percent in under a decade. During the five-year-period between 2005 and 2010, the total number of self-reported Christian universities also appears to have declined from 970 to 900. This 7.2 percent loss-rate means subtracting fourteen Christian colleges and universities every year.

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Both Christian and flagship universities show a correlation between higher tuitions and higher retention rates. Nearly 30 percent of Christian universities follow this trend and over 40 percent of flagship universities follow this trend. Correlations such as this can be explained by basic economics of education, which dictate that students tend to stay at schools with perceived higher reputations, where they also tend to spend more money and thus feel more invested in earning their degree. The problem is, with Christian universities, more than 40 percent of institutions fall below the trendline, meaning that a majority of Christian universities have lower than average retention rates. This is in direct opposition to the majority of flagship universities, which fall above the trendline.

So why are people leaving? If Christian universities are following the national trend of a declining Christian population, then the reason is likely due to the fact that fewer people between the ages of 18 and 24–i.e., the age group that makes up the majority of university populations–are identifying as Christian. After all, the median age for Christians has increased from 50 to 52 for mainline Protestants and 45 to 49 for mainline Catholics since 2007.

And according to Pew’s Religious Landscape Study, this rise in overall age and drop in overall Christian population is largely attributable to rapid growth in America’s number of young people (+13% between 2007 and 2014) who by and large consider themselves unaffiliated with any organized religion.

Other explanations attribute racial factors, such as the fact that more Whites identify as unaffiliated than Blacks and Hispanics, which translates into Whites being less likely to attend and more likely to leave Christian colleges and universities, and Blacks and Hispanics being more likely to attend and stay at such institutions. However, our research shows that Christian universities with higher Black populations tend to have lower than average retention rates. This would suggest that even as Christian colleges and universities are growing more diverse, they appear to be losing more students–most likely white ones, perhaps in a way similar to white flight after integration–which means that Christian colleges and universities still have a ways to go before achieving institutional equality.

Climbing Jacob’s Ladder

Using the percentage of people of color as our indicator, we’ve ranked the most racially diverse Christian and flagship universities. To get the percentage of people of color at these institutions, we first determined which had the lowest populations of Whites–all of these fell within the range of 20-48 percent–and then added those institutions’ population percentages for Hispanic, Black, Asian, American Indian, and Other racial groupings (i.e., Multi-Race, Race Unknown, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander). Those institutions with the highest percentage of people of color ranked highest on our list.

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The top five Christian universities have a 5.2% higher percentage of people of color at their institutions than the top five flagship universities. This is in addition to the fact that, except for the number one position, each Christian university in a top five spot has a higher percentage of people of color than its corresponding flagship university in a top five spot. These numbers, if their pattern extended to lower ranking universities, would suggest that Christian universities are becoming more racially diverse than flagship universities. But, when we regard the larger sample, we see that only 1 in every 28 Christian universities has a higher percentage of people of color than Whites, whereas 1 in every 10 flagship universities has a higher percentage of people of color than Whites. That’s 3 percent of Christian universities compared to 10 percent of flagship universities that meet the criteria for being considered one of most racially diverse universities.

All this means is that a handful of Christian universities are climbing the ladder of racial diversity much faster than their peers, and sometimes even faster than their flagship counterparts. The majority of Christian universities and flagship universities alike, however, have a long way to climb before they catch up to being considered among the most racially diverse universities in the United States.

Better News

Taking a page from the books of those few universities who are skewing the curve higher often means intentionally recruiting higher numbers of both students and faculty of color. Universities that have taken this initiative mark a high rung on the ladder, a mark that needs to be reached if Christian colleges and universities want to reflect the growing national numbers of Christians who are also racial minorities.

The good news is that both students and faculty alike at Christian colleges and universities are taking initiatives that will ensure racial minorities are better represented on Christian campuses. At the behest of CCCU’s Diversity Commission, Christian colleges and universities are campaigning for diversity initiatives that include hiring more Diversity Officers, allotting more financial aid to first-generation students and students of color, as well as increasing the number of tenure-track faculty positions for scholars of color. This way, as the population of people of color continues to grow, so will their representation among institutions such as the CCCU and Christian higher education as a whole.

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A Woman’s Work: Roles of Women in World Religions http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/women-religions/ Wed, 13 Jan 2016 01:22:50 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?page_id=2986 Women-in-Religion

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A Woman’s Work: Roles of Women in World Religions

For women, some religions allow more freedoms than others, offering women positions of power and scriptural equality with men. Let’s take a look at the roles of women in five major religions.

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center …(1)
86% of women in the U.S. are affiliated with a religion.
63% say that religion is an important part of their lives.
44% attend worship services at least on a weekly basis.

Christianity (1,2,3)

U.S. population percentage: 70.6%

World population percentage: 31.5%

Percentage of female members: 55% (Protestantism)

Notable women in scripture: Mary, mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist.

In positions of power? Yes, in preaching, teaching and missionary roles.

Main responsibilities of women: Raise and teach children, maintain a Godly household, refer to husband on familial and religious matters, maintain social groups in church.

Islam (1,4,5)

U.S. population percentage: 0.9%

World population percentage: 23.2%

Percentage of female members: 35%

Notable women in scripture: Aisha, wife of the Prophet Muhammad, and Hawwa, the wife of Adam.

In positions of power? Yes, active in politics and religious organizations like The Muslim Brotherhood.

Main responsibilities of women: Care for children, pass on traditions to children, serve husband in home, follow gender-specific commandments, assist husband and other male family members in political and religious decisions, retain and care for familial assets.

Judaism (1,6)

U.S. population percentage: 1.9%

World population percentage: 0.2%

Percentage of female members: 48%

Notable women in scripture: Miriam, sister of Moses, and 7 of the 55 prophets in the Bible are women.

In positions of power? Yes.

Main responsibilities of women: As God is both female and male, and the first human created was of both genders, there is less of an emphasis on specific gender roles. But women are expected to perform more intellectual tasks, while men perform more physical tasks.

Hinduism (1,7,8)

U.S. population percentage: 0.7%

World population percentage: 15%

Percentage of female members: 38%

Notable women in scripture: Shakti, the Universal Mother, and Sita, part of the Godhead.

In positions of power? No, not typical except in very rich, powerful families. Women cannot officiate ceremonies.

Main responsibilities of women: Raise and care for children, be part of an arranged marriage, help husband perform traditional ceremonies, care for elderly family members, maintain household.

Buddhism (1,9,10)

U.S. population percentage: 0.7%

World population percentage: 7.1%

Percentage of female members: 49%

Notable women in scripture: Abhirupananda, from the Order of the Buddha, and Jenti, a follower of the Buddha.

In positions of power? Yes.

Main responsibilities of women: Maintain household, help raise children, act as stand-in for husband in decision-making when husband is unavailable, possibly co-exist peacefully with husband’s “co-wives” if in polygamous marriage.

Women-in-Religion_fb

Sources:
1. http://www.pewforum.org
2. http://www.theopedia.com
3. http://www.womeninthebible.net
4. http://www.pbs.org/
5. http://islam.about.com
6. http://www.jewfaq.org
7. http://www.hinduwebsite.com
8. http://hinduism.iskcon.org
9. http://www.buddhanet.net
10. http://www.urbandharma.org

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How to Prepare Your Kids for College – Part 3 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/how-to-prepare-your-kids-for-college-part-3/ Tue, 27 Oct 2015 14:18:14 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?p=2659 unnamed3

Part Three:  Putting it all together

As we discuss the impact of the decision to pursue a college degree, we have found many “moving parts” that need to be locked down as part of the process.  After considering the various environments on campus (Physical, Spiritual and Educational) and the practical needs for your student (Financial, Physical and Academic), a parent (and student) can be overwhelmed by the magnitude of this situation.

This is when you should stop and step back from the heat of the moment to reconsider the decision to send your student to college.  While there are many valid reasons to pursue a college degree, there are many poor reasons, too.

The first hard question to ask is this: “What is the actual need for a degree?  Is a degree required for the desired career path for the student?”  If your student is studying medicine, law, engineering or accounting, then yes – a degree is a required step on the career path.  But there are many more careers that do not require a degree to achieve success.  In fact, studies show that a majority of people in the workforce 10 years after graduation are not in their field of study!  While an Art History degree may sound great at the time (especially if the student desires to teach the subject at a High School or college level), what is the back-up plan if gainful employment can’s be found?  There are many art history, general studies and philosophy grads serving up coffee or directing Wal-Mart shoppers after they have earned their degree!

This may sound like hyperbole, but if you conduct your own informal study of your peers, you will find very few folks are still in their field of study (doctors, lawyers, accountants and engineers notwithstanding).  This is exactly why you and your student need to be as certain as possible that they are on a good, viable path.  Counsel from the Lord, family members and people who are in the desired field will prove invaluable in your quest for discernment and direction.

The second hard question is this: “Is now the best time to matriculate?”  As mentioned in the previous article, going straight to college from High School isn’t always the best plan.  The reason to delay a decision – or simply defer enrollment (most colleges are open to a 1-year deferment without hassle or penalty) – may be the best one to make.  Because the college environment is so different from traditional High School, and a lot of money is at risk, a time for the student to see the working world for a time can provide motivation to perform at a higher level in college than in High School.  Spending a year or more working a 9-5 job (if possible, related to the desired field of study) can provide insight into the actual work they would engage in post-graduation.  If there is an internship or similar option within the industry, it can also lay the groundwork for future recruitment into full-time employment between college years and post-graduation.

The bottom line is that this is a significant time in your student’s life.  Many mistakes are possible which can include lasting impact (i.e. student loans that will need repayment if a degree is earned or not).  And there are many trap doors your student will encounter on campus (we briefly mentioned the availability of sex, drugs and alcohol) that can not only shorten a college career but suddenly put your student on a very different path than anticipated!  With this amount of risk to consider, it truly is critical to make an informed decision using input from a multitude of sources.

Putting it all together:  There are many good reasons to earn a college degree.  There are also many poor reasons to go to college (social pressure: “all my friends are going,” family pressure: “Uncle Louie (or the family trust fund) offered to pay for it,” and seeking a spouse are examples of bad reasons).  As you consider how your student should best approach this phase of their life, you will see a good path open up before you.  Ask the hard questions; pursue the practical needs (financing, etc.) and investigate the schools that fit you and your student’s stated desires.  But don’t set your heart on any one school or path.  Always leave an ‘opt-out’ clause in each decision.  The hard questions should be revisited often.  The frank discussions about the anticipated distractions must be had frequently.  This is likely the last opportunity you will have to discuss these life choices with your student while they are under your authority.  Be wise in your approach – remember that your student has to buy into all decisions as well.  College can be a rewarding, fulfilling and wonderful experience in your student’s life.  Keeping eyes open and having stated plans, goals and limits can help ensure success (read: a degree) and a bright future for the rest of your family’s life.

We all want the best for our children; often the “best” includes higher education.  Tough decisions need to be made, but with the right focus, good information/counsel and a keen eye for the unexpected will allow you and your student to make the best decision for the family.

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How to Prepare Your Kids for College – Part 2 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/how-to-prepare-your-kids-for-college-part-2/ Tue, 13 Oct 2015 18:40:39 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?p=2475 IMG_1025

Part Two: Practical Needs

In our first installment (Environments to Consider), we discussed the more ethereal concerns of sending your High School graduate to college. The areas covered were the three main environments to consider when looking at a particular school: the Physical Environment (residence issues, physical campus, etc.), Spiritual Environment (the underlying worldview of the school) and the Educational Environment (class work that is beyond that of High School).

To examine some of the more practical elements that demand our attention, it is best to sort these topics into financial, physical and academic categories. Again, this is by no means exhaustive, but these are three critical areas to focus your (and your student’s) attention on.

Finances: This includes more than tuition payment and books. While tuition is an obvious concern, there are many other financial considerations to address. All residential colleges provide a meal plan (for a price). Often there are various levels of plans a student can select at the campus cafeteria. This is where you as the parent and the student must reach an agreement. Simply stated, the cost of a 21-meal/week plan (typically the most expensive) may NOT be money not well spent if your student skips breakfast and likes to eat pizza every Friday night. Investigate the meal plan options available at the school. Counsel your student that whatever they eat on their own comes out of THEIR pocket at the time (over and above the purchased meal plan). You will do well to look into the cooking policy for the dorms (some will allow microwave ovens, toaster ovens and crock pots, some will not). In a strict dorm environment, this means that meals not taken at the cafeteria must be ordered out (which gets costly quickly!).

The social environment at college involves cost, too. This includes more than movies, pizza or going out with the gang. Often, there are dorm dues, social contribution requirements and other less obvious costs your student will face. While the dues and other fees are often nominal, they do add up over the course of the semester.

It is best to prepare your student for unanticipated expenses from day 1 (typically, dues, fees and other soft costs are collected at the beginning of the semester because that is when the students have the most money on hand!). Advising your student to ask the questions: “is this a mandatory cost?” and “what does this fee get ME?” before parting with their cash! The prudent parent will advise their dear student that tuition, books, room and board are covered by the means specified (loans, grants, etc.), but everything else is covered by the student! This is another reason why summer jobs are important – they will provide cash for the student while allowing them to realize that their social costs cost THEM in real dollars!

Help the student to understand that things will always cost more than they expected – and they are required to manage their expenses appropriately. What a great lesson in life this can be!

Physical Needs: While related to finances in that they will need to be purchased, there are tangible items your student will need to be successful at college. The obvious items include a good computer with internet access (laptop or large tablet is preferred), a cell phone with an unlimited calling/data plan, a wardrobe compatible with the climate and social expectations and other traditional school supplies (pens, notebooks, paper, calendar and any specific tools necessary for their field of study). Also, subject to school and dorm policies, food preparation equipment is valuable to have. Laundry is a topic to discuss (especially if your student hadn’t been responsible for their own wash before) – coin-op laundry facilities are in the typical dorm and some schools will offer laundry service (but beware of purchasing this service if it won’t be used!). Linens are an important part of your student’s day, also!

If your student will have a car on campus, you will need to obtain a parking pass (yet another cost) and make sure your student has all the equipment necessary to maintain the vehicle (including safety equipment). Gas money will also be a hot topic (after the second tank of gas) – but your student should figure something out before too long! If your student will be far from home, travel will require much planning. Be aware of the school’s calendar schedule and appropriate travel arrangements (planes, trains, automobiles) and their limitations (early booking, black-out dates, etc.).

Other needs will be identified by your student and/or dictated by the school environment itself. Too numerous to mention here, there will be “must-haves” that present themselves as necessary.

Academic Needs: Beyond the pencils, protractors and page protectors, there is the need to prepare the student for a more stringent course work in college. As mentioned in the first article, college isn’t High School – students are expected to work as though they were paying for their degree. This is because they ARE paying for it! This can’t be stressed enough; many a college career wound up being a waste of money because the student failed to apply themselves diligently. Better to take some time between High School graduation and college matriculation to ensure a more diligent student than to risk failing out of school (with no return on investment). Attitude is hard to measure; you will have to have the hard talk with your student (early and often as you continue this journey) to make sure this is the best time for this choice. Everyone wins when prudence rules the day!

As stated previously, this is all because we as parents want the best for our children!

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How to Prepare Your Kids for College – Part 1 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/how-to-prepare-your-kids-for-college-part-1/ Mon, 28 Sep 2015 16:38:42 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?p=2312 Photo by Joel Coleman

Environments to Consider

In an effort to help assist parents as they guide their children through the next chapter of their life – beyond High School – we will take a look at several areas that warrant parental attention. In the first part, we will examine various environments that these students will encounter: Physical, Spiritual and Academic. The second chapter will cover the practical needs and preparations that the students will need and/or want; the final article will offer some conclusions for you as parents to consider.

Every parent has the same goal: they want better for their children than they had at their age. In practice, this takes a variety of forms, but the underlying principle is the same from family to family. All parents want their children to “go farther” than they did.

For some families, the idea of a college degree is new. Years ago, only a few students had the opportunity to attend college through graduation. Usually, immigrant families filled the labor market (as opposed to management or executive positions), but with sacrifice, planning and hard work, they could get a son or daughter off to college to improve the family status.

College is much more accessible today. There are a myriad of higher education options that are available to nearly all students. Today the question isn’t “can we send our child to college?” it is “where should our child go to college?”

There are some very important areas to consider as you help prepare your child (who is a man or woman by now!) to go to college. Here are three areas to consider as you get ready to send your student off to attain higher education. (Note that the assumption is that the student will be enrolled full-time and reside on campus during each semester. Even if this isn’t the case for your family, the ideas mentioned are transferable and still important to consider.)

Physical Environment. Dorm life is very different from home life. Dorm life is different from apartment dwelling, too – dormitory life is its own reality! This will be the biggest adjustment the student has to deal with. Unfamiliar surroundings, unfamiliar people (who often have a different set of morals/ethics/customs/habits/experiences) and new routines can be overwhelming to the new student. They should be made aware that there are resources available on campus to help their adjustment. They will need to be experts at taking responsibility for all their personal activities, possessions and schedule. There won’t be a mom or dad waking them up in time for class or telling them to wash their clothes. For many students, this is a wake-up call to adulthood (or at least personal responsibility), as they had most of the mundane tasks done for them. On top of that, they will get to learn how to get along with a strange roommate.

Spiritual Environment. Every school environment has a spiritual quality. Even the self-designated “secular” environment has a spiritual quality (even if the view is that there is no absolute authority). Generally, most non-religious colleges and universities try hard not to have a specific spiritual environment, but we know better. If your student has a desire to pursue a specific course of study that is best done at a mainstream university, they will do well to understand that the specifically secular environment will actually be in direst opposition to most faith-based worldviews. Higher learning can be an end to itself and the unprepared student can be challenged more than they are able to withstand unless they recognize and understand the culture of the school specifically and academia in general. The prudent parent will ensure their student has a firm foundation for their worldview and spiritual condition.

Educational Environment. The student must recognize that they are not in High School anymore. Where grade school was compulsory (and subsidized by the local populace through taxation), college is voluntary and self-funded. Where the High School student may have been catered to (with tutors, reminders and other assistance), the college student is expected to take ownership of their assignments, papers and exam preparations. A grade school education is provided; a college degree is earned. College professors have a different perspective than High School teachers – they expect the student to do their own work with minimal direction (outside the classroom). The college student is to be motivated by default; they are pursuing an endorsement from the school for their knowledge and capabilities which will be used to achieve success in the world. This is a higher standard than meeting the number of days of compulsory attendance under state guidelines for grade school!

In all three of these environments, there are multiple distractions to derail an otherwise successful college endeavor. Self-discipline is critical for the new student to overcome these pitfalls. Sex, alcohol and drugs and other heretofore unrealized ‘freedoms’ can result in much damage. While all schools have a code of conduct, the truth is that the college environment is fraught with risk – physical, emotional and spiritual. The wise student will recognize these risks, count the cost of decisions they make and reduce the impact of potential distractions. The discerning parent will have honest and frank conversations with their children before they matriculate in order to prepare them for this new chapter in their lives. This article is not meant to discourage college attendance, it is a call to examine this idea with open eyes and honestly assess the whole picture (warts and all). Parents have spent a significant portion of their lives instilling the family values in their children; it is foolish to neglect this step of preparation for this portion of their journey. The practical elements (finances, travel, course schedules, etc.) of college will fall into place at the proper time. Don’t allow your student to be caught off guard and blindsided by unanticipated negative influences or opportunities. After all, we all want the best for our children!

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For the Faithful: Christian Universities in the U.S. http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/christian-universities-u-s/ Fri, 19 Jun 2015 22:45:17 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?page_id=1913 ChristianUniversities

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For the Faithful: Christian Universities in the U.S.

The United States has a long history with Christian universities. Let’s take a closer look at the history behind and the current state of private, Christian colleges in the U.S.

The Early Years

Though today these institutions reflect a more religiously diverse and in most cases secular worldview, many well-known colleges began as Christian universities.

1636

Harvard is the first university established in the United States. One of the founding rules is, “Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, (John 17:3), and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”

1642

The Massachusetts Bay School Law passes, requiring that parents ensure their children know the principles of religion.

1655

The New Haven Code declares that all schoolchildren must be able to read the Scriptures, making the Bible the first textbook in the U.S.

1691

The College of William & Mary is founded in Virginia by the Rev. James Blair.

1701

Yale University is founded by Congregational ministers in the name of the Protestant religion.

1746

Princeton is founded by Presbyterians. The Rev. Jonathan Dickinson, the university’s first president, is quoting as saying, “cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ.”

1764

Brown is founded as a Baptist institution.

The Private Life

The number of private institutions has stayed fairly steady since the early 1990s, yet student enrollment continues to rise.

Christian University Enrollment 1990-2004

Year: Enrollment

1990: 129,375

1995: 157,118

1996: 163,232

1997: 170,312

1998: 177,079

1999: 183,570

2000: 190,640

2004: 229,649

1600

Number of private, nonprofit universities in the U.S. They make up half of the United States’ nonprofit schools.

3.4 million

Number of students enrolled in private universities in the U.S.

79%

Percentage of graduates at four-year private universities who earned their degree in four years. Compared with 49% at public universities.

1.7%

Growth rate in enrollment for private universities between 2000 and 2011.
The average annual tuition for a private university in the U.S. is $33,047; compare that with $14,292 at a

public university.

Top 5 Christian Universities in U.S.

1. College of the Ozarks

Where: Missouri

Why: Though only 13% of applicants are accepted, the lucky few will experience tuition-free courses.

Graduation rate: 65% (within six years) – maybe do an asterisk and “within 6 years” at bottom of section

2. Gordon College

Where: Massachusetts

Why: With many local, national and global opportunities for students, Gordon provides a well-rounded education built on practicality.

Graduation rate: 71% (within six years)

3. Goshen College

Where: Indiana

Why: Goshen teaches the principles of peace and productivity, offering students a top-tier academic program and a very active social scene.

Graduation rate: 70% (within six years)

4. Pepperdine University

Where: California

Why: Pepperdine sports one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, along with five different schools that offer students many degree options.

Graduation rate: 80% (within six years)

5. Baylor University

Where: Texas

Why: BU, voted one of the nation’s best colleges, maintains its reputation for rigorous academics and competitive athletics.

Graduation rate: 75% (within six years)

ChristianUniversities

Sources:

1. http://www.eds-resources.com
2. http://www.tysknews.com
3. http://www.cccu.org
4. http://nces.ed.gov
5. http://www.naicu.edu
6. http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org

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The Fate of Christian Universities http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/fate-of-christian-universities/ Mon, 02 Mar 2015 01:23:34 +0000 http://www.christianuniversitiesonline.org/?page_id=1586 ChristianUnivFate

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The Fate of Christian Universities

Faith on Campus:

Rising and thriving: Christian college enrollment

Growth over a 15 year period:

Public 4-year campuses grew 13%,
Independent 4 year campuses (including many schools with broad religious or denominational connections) grew 28%.
CCCU schools grew 71%.
67: percentage by which CCCU schools outpaced enrollment in public post-secondary schools
*1990-2004, the latest comprehensive survey of CCCU enrollment by the DOE

Why the increased enrollment:

Smaller class size: than larger private or public schools
Lower Costs:
$30,094: average cost of tuition and fees at private institutions
$24,705: average cost at CCCU schools
Maximum tuition: $42,200
Minimum tuition: $4,900

Emphasized comparisons: Us vs. Them (Christian vs. Secular)

CCCU schools helps students so inclined to become active servants of Jesus Christ and Share the Gospel
Secular schools: Inclusive of all lifestyles. Non judgmental

Christian school: Teachers — Generally, born again
Secular school: Teachers —Inclusive of all religions or atheist

Christian school: Curriculum based on God’s words
Secular school: Curriculum: What is truth? Society decides what is right or wrong

Christian School: Teach that God created the universe
Secular School: The Big Bang Theory

The challenges administrators face: Shrinking revenue

CCCU schools:
Rely on unpaid faculty members–brothers, nuns, and priests– now in shrinking supply.
Shorter history of fund raising, smaller endowments.
Recession affected 4 primary revenue streams: tuition and fees; endowments; grants from denominations or other religious organizations; and gifts from individual donors.
Many Bible-based keep tuition low. Costs rise.
During the worst months of the recession ½ of seminaries cut their budgets by up to 12 percent in 2009.

To stay alive…CCCU schools
• Cut budgets by up to 12 percent during recession
• Faculty and staff salaries frozen
• But…Increased financial aid budgets (from 2009-2012: 35 % inc.)
• On average: CCCU schools have 75% of students showing financial need

Most CCCU students are Christian but in order to survive Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York suggested:
• Expand the student base to include non Christians: 323,542: number of non-Chrstian students at CCCU schools helps pay tuitions.
• Grow endowments, find more stable funding sources
• Sell buildings, do more online work
• Downsize, consolidate programs
• More collaboration with similar institutions [Example: The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary merged with Lenoir-Rhyne University, a Lutheran college in North Carolina]

Spreading the Gospel of Christian Colleges

1.8 million: number of CCCU alumni
350: number of undergraduate majors offered at Christian colleges
150: number of graduate majors
400,000 Plus: number of students enrolled annually

Snapshot: 2014 Strong

Tuitions still lower than other private colleges: $24,705 (CCCU) vs. $30,094
3.8%: increase in tuition over 2013; that’s a lower rate of increase than the 4.6% inc. in 2012 tuition
$9254 median gift aid at CCCU schools, up from $8,478
CCCU student debt upon graduation grew only 2% from 2010-2013; from 2007-2010, debt increased 23%

ChristianUnivFate

Sources:

http://religioninsights.org/articles/theological-education-rebounds-fewer-students-enroll
http://www.ozarksfirst.com/story/private-christian-colleges-slash-tuition-struggle-to-attract-students/d/story/q0jDEbPqukmw9zrTeOAoqA
http://www.accunet.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3797#HowMany
http://www.intrust.org/Portals/39/docs/IT413wheeler.pdf
http://helpyourteennow.com/benefits-of-a-christian-education-infographic/
http://archive.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2008/12/01/20081201sacrifices1201.html
http://www.cccu.org/professional_development/resource_library/2006/10_challenges_for_cccu_campuses
http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/28/pf/christian_colleges/
http://www.cccu.org/news/articles/2011/cccu_tuition_student_aid_increases_for_2011_2012
http://www.cccu.org/news/articles/2014/2013FinancialAidSurvey

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