The cost and value of Christian higher education

    August 19, 2019

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    THE COST of a college education has become a topic of much discussion, and appropriately so. But many inside Christian higher education are quick to point out that beyond cost, students and their
    families need to consider value.

    In other words, what are students getting back for their investment in higher education? And more importantly, how will it impact their lives?

    “The college years truly are the most formative period for a person’s life,” said Stan Norman, president of Williams Baptist University (WBU). “The worldviews formed in these years establish crucial priorities for a student’s life, setting the spiritual and moral course for years to come. For these reasons and many others, the choice of a college or university has a tremendous impact on a student’s future.”

    Norman and others encourage families to consider factors beyond cost, and to understand the importance of making the right decision on a college or university. As with most other investments, they argue that making a decision based strictly upon expense may well overlook more important considerations.

    And, considering the enduring influence of higher education on the adult years, a wrong decision can lead to a detrimental outcome.

    “In the face of a world and of a culture that seem each day to turn away from godly wisdom, the Christian university continues unashamedly to radiate God’s truth into the darkness of rampant secularism,” Norman noted.

    “It is the job of such institutions not only to stand firm against these worldly,
    dark influences, but even more, to prepare men and women academically and, above all, spiritually to shine God’s light in the darkness of this world.”

    Norman encourages students and families to prayerfully consider all of their options for higher education, and to weigh the impact each institution will have on that student’s life.

    Above all, the WBU president said it is important to realize that a university education is not merely a commodity. It is far too impactful to be viewed as a simple business transaction – a payment of tuition in exchange for a diploma.

    Rather, it should be considered a transformative life experience that will largely shape the direction of those students’ adult years.

    “Higher education is an investment, an investment in the future lives of our sons and daughters,” Norman said. “Christian higher education prepares our students to be men and women of Christian purpose, prepared vocationally and spiritually to make a gospel difference in our world for the glory of our Lord.”

    Brett Cooper is vice president for creative services and technology at Williams Baptist University.

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