Students who attend religious colleges encounter the same challenges and opportunities as those who attend secular schools, however the fundamental difference is the sense of community on campus. Most large colleges have a variety of different values, beliefs, and predjudices present on campus at all times. However, religious schools such as Christian Colleges generally tend to experience a common connection between all of the students on campus, that being their faith in Jesus Christ. Secular schools usually don’t offer educational courses on religious studies, and if they do it is outside of the classroom and optional for those students who may be interested. Religious schools however, incorporate these discussions of faith into the curriculum so that it is an obvious part of campus.
Students will make poor decisions whether attending a secular or a religious school, however I believe religious colleges tend to have fewer troubles on campus because of the constant reminder of ethics and morals that comes along with most religious studies. Another factor to consider is the weight of the consequences of the offender’s actions. In a secular school, students can be reprimanded by teachers for minor infringements and major infringements which usually refer to violent or criminal acts and things such as plaigerism, can be punishable by suspension or expulsion. The fundamental difference in discipline between secular and religious schools is what constitutes a minor or major infraction. What would be considered commonplace behavior in a secular school, such as chewing gum or inappropriate language, could be labeled a major infringement at a religious school. This sets the bar for the way religious students act, and lowers the chance of religious schools facing the same troubles that keep secular schools in the headlines.
Another fundamental difference between the rules of a religious school and those of a secular school are the policies on dating. A secular school would probably never be able to actually enforce such policies, however religious colleges such as Bob Jones University enforce such rules as banning interracial dating between students. At Patrick Henry College, campus officials encourage “courting” instead of dating in which a young man is supposed to reach out to a young woman’s father in order to recieve his permission for them to date. At Magdalen College, students are prohibited from dating all together. These rules serve as a way to better control students, and in doing so they achieve in lowering the problems that many secular schools face.
I believe that even though these rules that religious schools enforce are successfully lowering troubles on campus, however they are probably successfully lowering other things on campus such as interest in current events and diverse opinions and beliefs that encourage secular schools to thrive while giving their students room to grow and progess.