Religious colleges tend to have students who get into less trouble than secular college students because the students at a religious school have faith to help keep them out of trouble. Their faith allows them a way of associating with their peers which is healthy and innocent. In secular schools students are more likely to pick up bad habits like drinking and drug use to form bonds with their peers. Also, most students who go to a religious school have chosen to do so because they want to be in an atmosphere which has less pressure to perform immoral and unintelligible acts. In secular schools peer pressure tends to involve drinking, drugs and sex; while in religious schools peer pressure is to do things that are morally correct. Also according to an article titled Secular Vs. Christian College written by Andrew Call “Christian colleges tend to have smaller student bodies, decreasing the chance of a student simply becoming lost in the crowd. A smaller college also offers a greater chance to participate in extracurricular activities, providing more opportunities to meet others and expand one’s circle of friends.”
The disciplinary differences between secular and religious schools contribute to religious school students being less likely to be involved in trouble. The rules at a religious college tend to be stricter than those at a secular school. There is more emphasis on not allowing immoral activity of any kind for both disciplinary reasons and religious reasons. Students not only feel pressure from their peers, but also have many mentors available to them such as pastors, rabbis, or their teachers who they do not want to disappoint. Think about being a student in a secular school and having sex, would you be worried about your teacher finding out? Chances are probably not. Although, that is different for students who attend religious schools, they would fear their teacher knowing that they were unfaithful and their teacher is also more of a mentor. The teacher at a religious school would probably feel the need to confront the student and would offer counseling to them, while at a secular school a teacher would think it none of their business to be involved in a students’ sexual affairs. Students at religious schools over all have much more counseling available to them and participate in it much more than students at secular schools do.
From the reading How Student life is Different at Religious Colleges by Naomi Schaefer Riley in Seeing Ourselves, at Bob Jones University women and men are not allowed any kind of physical contact. The school’s rules may be strict enough to minimize such incidents, but as most administrators will tell you where there’s a will there’s a way. They also require that students have chaperones for all dates.
Another school from the reading is Magdalen. Magdalen is a small catholic school where seats are assigned differently each day at meal periods to avoid cliques. Their rooms must be kept neat with no mess on the dressers or desks and no art work or decorations on the walls. They must always carry with them a clean pair of shoes so each time they enter a building they can put them on and avoid getting the floors dirty. They say the students follow the rule well because they are the ones who do most of the cleaning on campus. They have a 10:30 pm lights out policy. At Magdalen they also have a no dating rule called a rule against “steady companion keeping”. One student there said that the rule made it easier for her to be friends with other male students because she could sit next to them and not have other people think that they were dating or have the male feel like she is trying to be possessive of him. Some students there feel it makes it easier to get to know someone. Many of the students from Magdalen do get married shortly after graduation. A senior student Nancy Carlin says she believes that not dating gives people a better chance of having a solid marriage by not having a relationship based on self-gratification.
Another school from the reading is Patrick Henry College. There they have a strict rule that students must get their parents’ permission before dating someone. All of the schools the author visited have rules against public displays of affection. At one school, Thomas Aquinas, the administration says that publicly displaying affection is harmful to the formation of a community. One of the former students from Magdalen who is now a professor there said that all the organization he experienced as a student helped to build character. All of the rules that religious schools have that secular schools don’t may help students learn to live a more organized and disciplined life style. With all the rules against dating and public displays of affection you would think that religious schools would not have the latent function of most colleges where students are finding their mates. Just like in secular schools students still find mates, they just usually get married after school instead of dating while in school.
Article written by Andrew Call Secular Vs. Christian College www.mbbc.edu/page.aspx?m=3103
Seeing Ourselves. Reading 56. How Student Life is Different at Religious Colleges, by Naomi Schaefer Riley. P 345- 350