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:
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
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
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
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
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
“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.
E-mail your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.