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Why Attend an Assemblies of God College?

By Robert Cook Jr.

It’s a staggering number — some 60,000 high school seniors attend Assemblies of God churches in the United States. If you are one of those students, the biggest question on your mind almost certainly is where will you attend college?

You’re blessed to live in a nation that prioritizes quality education and strives to make college available to everyone. Already, you may feel there are so many choices open to you that making the right choice is overwhelming. I can assure you, God will give you the guidance you need if you commit your choice of a college to Him.

I would urge you to prayerfully consider attending one of our 20 undergraduate Assemblies of God colleges, universities or institutes. Here are three reasons why:

Spiritual growth

At an AG school, your spiritual health is vitally important. Expressing your faith is a crucial part of campus life. Opportunities for growth are everywhere: chapel services; small groups; faculty who are caring models of Christian leadership, plus classes that don’t just teach you “how to make a living,” but also “how to live”!

Without a doubt, the potential for growth in your walk with God is increased greatly at an AG school because the overall environment is all about spiritual growth. Our alumni are leaders in their fields today, and they point to their years on our campuses as absolutely vital to their journey of faith.

Academic excellence

AG schools offer more than 150 academic programs — ranging from accounting to education to psychology to mathematics to church leadership. And every academic discipline is undergirded by Jesus’ foundational command to love God with our minds as well as the rest of our being (Matthew 22:37).

AG colleges offer fully recognized degree programs. In fact, most of our schools have regional accreditation, which means that our schools have gone through as thorough an investigation of their academic programs as state universities.

Our professors are well qualified both academically and spiritually. The learning environment provides  many opportunities for dialogue and interaction with professors and fellow students. Class sizes are usually smaller, which enhances academic growth and inquiry.

If you feel called to full-time Christian leadership, either pastoral or missions, a degree from one of our schools offers a solid foundation upon which your future ministry can be built.

Thirty percent of our students major in church leadership of some sort. We believe they are being prepared for relevant, enduring and vital ministry.

Lifelong friends

At an AG college you will build a network of Christian friends — relationships that will become your future support system. Many students who attended my AG school with me 40 years ago are still close friends whom God has used to shape my life.

You’ll also gain an appreciation for diversity found in the context of relationship and community. You’ll experience the variety of gifts, personalities, backgrounds, experiences, styles and abilities found in the kingdom of God.

If you sense God’s leading to attend a community college or a state university, I commend you. As you prioritize campus ministry as well your career path, you will be used by God to reach other students who have never heard of Him (see the Conversation on page 12).

A caution, though — statistics indicate that most students who enroll at a secular college will not maintain their Christian faith unless they aggressively seek out other Christians immediately and link with a strong local church or a campus ministry like Chi Alpha.

My first college experience was at a state university, and I severely neglected my walk with God and involvement with other believers. I had loving Christian parents, and my home church was healthy and vibrant, but my new friends embraced non-Christian lifestyles and influenced my own moral compass. I walked away from my faith. I am thankful for God’s grace; a radical encounter with the Lord the next summer altered the downward trajectory I had chosen, and I transferred to an AG college.

Twenty-five years later my youngest son enrolled at a secular university. Thankfully, his story is different from mine. He immediately sought out other Christians and became part of a campus ministry that strengthened him throughout his college career and eventually led to leadership.

“But AG colleges are too expensive!”

I hear that often. Education at a private college typically costs more than a state institution. Our schools rely upon tuition plus donations from friends and alumni to pay the bills; we do not have public funding. But every one of our schools offers generous scholarships and financial aid. And many churches have caught the vision of helping their high school graduates attend one of our colleges. Ask your pastor about it today.

Don’t let “sticker shock” keep you from getting a great education; talk to a financial aid officer from any of our schools.

Still not convinced about attending an AG college? Why not try one of our schools for a year? That one year might be a life-changer for you. Studying to be a teacher? Check us out. Biologist? We’ve got a school for you. Pastor? We have what you need. Don’t know what to study yet? No problem — we’ll help you seek the will of God for your life.

Prayerfully consider attending an AG college. God can use that time to set you on a course for your future. He did it for me. Attending an Assemblies of God college opened up an exciting world of academic and spiritual growth that has shaped every career decision I’ve made. I believe God can do the same for you.

Check out our Web site at www.colleges.ag.org for more information about all our AG colleges, universities, institutes and our seminary. Join the 16,000-plus students who attend an AG college. The experience could change your life.


G. ROBERT COOK JR. is executive vice president of the Alliance for Assemblies of God Higher Education.

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