AG myths busted
Myth: The level
of education is not what I could get at a public institution.
Fact: Assemblies of God schools offer high-quality education. Faculty members
are highly trained in their specific fields. Twelve of the 19 AG schools are
regionally accredited, which means they hold to the same standards of
excellence in organization and classroom education as any state school.
There are many who argue strongly that undergraduate
education, especially in courses for freshmen and sophomores, is best done in
the context of a smaller school in that student/faculty ratios are usually
lower. Plus, on many state college and university campuses, teaching assistants
teach lower division courses. These TAs are usually students themselves without
full teaching qualifications. On most AG college campuses, professors with many
years of experience (many with earned doctorates) teach freshman courses.
Myth: As a
student at an AG college, I can’t get into a competitive internship.
schools have seen their students earn very competitive internships. For
example, Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., has seen four of its students
serve as official White House interns since 2002.
Myth: Faculty at Christian institutions are
at AG schools hold the highest of academic qualifications. Some of the schools
have a majority of their faculty with earned doctorates.
But faculties at AG schools not only hold the highest of
academic qualifications, they also take seriously their role of spiritual
Myth: AG colleges aren’t academically strong or
diverse. Students just study the Bible.
Fact: At all accredited AG
schools, every student is required to complete general education requirements.
Even in AG schools that only offer Bible or church leadership majors, students
take academically rigorous general education courses.
Though it is true that at every AG school every student will
finish with at least a minor in Bible or theology, AG schools offer a very
diverse selection of majors. (These can be accessed at: www.colleges.ag.org.)
North Central University offers 33 majors including business
administration, social work, recording arts and sports management.
Approximately half of Southwestern Assemblies of God University’s enrollment is
attributed to programs such as business, education, and counseling psychology.
Evangel University offers more than 100 undergraduate degree programs, as well
as eight graduate programs.
schools don’t offer strong, competitive athletic programs.
Fact: Most AG
colleges and universities offer a variety of athletic programs. These include
football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball,
women’s volleyball, and cheerleading. AG college
sports teams have won national, regional and conference championships and have
been nationally ranked.
who attend AG schools are at a disadvantage in their chosen careers.
Fact: Though AG
schools may not have as wide a reputation as larger, well-known state schools,
students from AG schools continue to be well accepted in the workplace and
careers. In fact, many employers know that graduates from AG schools have not
only been taught “how to make a living,” but also “how to live.” Honesty and
hard work have been modeled by AG school graduates, thus providing a solid
reputation to employers for future grads.
Graduates of AG schools have also seen success in admittance
to prestigious graduate schools.
In a survey, 90 percent of North Central graduates said they
are now in careers or graduate studies that they trained for at NCU. CBC alumni
have not only started life-changing ministries around the world, but many have
also gone on to start successful businesses, become state legislators, and even
work in Hollywood. At Evangel, many of the graduates are recruited by employers
who have been impressed by other Evangel graduates.
Myth: AG colleges are all about study and prayer. Students
don’t have any fun.
Fact: Each AG school operates under the principle that
Jesus came to give us abundant life. Laughter and fun are part of the Christian
life (or at least should be), and the students continue to testify that an AG
school is a great place to go to enjoy education!
Take Vanguard University for example. Vanguard students
enjoy surfing, bonfires on the beach, all-school parties, concerts, theater
performances, attending major league sporting events, and trips to Disneyland
and Knott’s Berry Farm — all that being located in a Southern California
coastal city has to offer.
Myth: I can’t afford to go to an AG school.
a wide range of scholarships available to students, both in undergraduate and
graduate programs, and the number of scholarships continues to increase.
Financial aid officers at each school should be contacted for details. For
example, Evangel awarded nearly $24 million in financial aid for the 2007-08
school year. The vast majority of Evangel students receive financial
The Alliance for AG Higher Education office is also
developing new scholarships for students who wish to attend any AG school,
including graduate schools.
It’s important to note that AG colleges, though private,
competitively rank with the cost of many state universities. North Central’s
total estimated cost for the past academic year was approximately $18,500.
By comparison, University of Minnesota (also located in Minneapolis) cost
$17,900 for Minnesota residents and $21,900 for nonresidents.
Myth: AG schools do not offer full-tuition or other
substantial scholarships and grants to help pay for my education.
Fact: Most AG
schools offer some type of full-tuition scholarship. More and more scholarships
are being offered, and financial aid officers should be contacted. Some
scholarships are left “unfilled” simply because no one inquired about them.
Evangel awards many different types of scholarships and
grants to first-time and returning students. Annually, two full-tuition and 10
half-tuition scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen and are renewable
for up to four years. Evangel also offers a variety of performance scholarships
for music, forensics and athletics.
Myth: Students from out of state will pay a higher
out-of-state tuition rate.
Fact: Not so!
You pay the same affordable tuition rate regardless of the state from which you
Myth: You don’t
need a degree to go into ministry.
Fact: While we
“can do all things through Christ” who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13), we
have a responsibility to be faithful with the call of God on our lives.
Faithfulness with that call requires successful preparation. Earning a degree
is like having a trusted institution (and its trusted leaders) testify that you
have successfully completed the preparation process to which you have given
yourself. The place of your preparation will always reflect the quality of it.
A degree earned at an AG school will also prepare the AG
minister to possibly attend graduate school, should that desire ever arise in
the life of the minister. We pray that all AG leaders would be lifelong
Myth: There are
not enough opportunities to travel and study abroad at AG schools.
Fact: Two new
models are just beginning: The Alliance for AG Higher Education office will
begin offering three-week study courses in Israel for 75-100 church leadership
majors from AG schools each year. Partial scholarships will be available for
this new program, led by Dr. Debbie Gill, professor at AGTS.
Second, Southeastern University has announced the purchase
of facilities in Israel that will serve as the headquarters for a study program
for SEU in Israel. The plan is that every church leadership major at SEU will
study for a semester in Israel.
Myth: You have
to be affiliated with the Assemblies of God to attend an AG school.
at AG schools must be Christians who are faithfully following Jesus, but they
need not be affiliated with an AG church. Some of our schools, in fact, have
sizable numbers of students who do not attend an AG church.
schools are not technologically advanced, and the buildings are old.
schools continue to be equipped with the best technological equipment
available. Though some are better equipped than others, all are committed to
If anyone thinks all AG buildings are old, they haven’t
visited many AG schools. Many of our schools have just completed major building
projects in the last few years or are now in the process of erecting new
Zion Bible College has just moved to a new campus with
totally refurbished facilities. Trinity Bible College, Northwest University,
Southwestern AG University, Southeastern University and others have all seen
new buildings built in the last few years. During recent years of campus
improvements, Evangel classrooms have been outfitted with projection, sound,
computers and electronic podiums. There are 30 computer labs, state-of-the-art
science and technology labs, and wireless Internet access on campus.
Myths and facts supplied by participating AG schools and The
Alliance for AG Higher Education.
E-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.