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Ohio’s Christian Colleges

Ohio’s Big 5 Christian Colleges: Franciscan University of Steubenville

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Franciscan University of Steubenville is a private Catholic University in the Franciscan tradition located in Steubenville, Ohio. Franciscan boasts the largest Theology major in the country and has achieved a unique integration of faith and reason in their 41 offered majors. Providing students opportunities for international travel and service, this unique University encourages students to live their faith while completing rigorous academic programs. Like many Catholic institutions, the core curriculum requires 15 credit hours in theology and philosophy. Majors in Nursing, Biology, and Catechetics (Religious Education) are all strong.

The culture at Franciscan can best be described as “Passionately Catholic.” Over 70% of students attend mass at least twice weekly and most students participate in Catholic outreach initiatives on an ongoing basis. At Franciscan students deepen their Catholic faith through membership in “households” that are undergirded by, and organized around, faith practices. Students enjoy an ongoing stream of “Catechetics” speakers with some estimating that over 50% of the world’s most renowned religious education speakers have visited Franciscan.

Franciscan also boasts one of the largest Priestly Discernment Programs in the country offering human, academic, spiritual, pastoral, and fraternal formation for men considering the priesthood. Currently over 40 men are in this program.

For pro-life students who take their Catholic (or Christian) faith seriously and wish to further deepen their faith during their college years, Franciscan is worth a visit.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ohio’s Christian Colleges: Mount Vernon Nazarene University

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MVNU students say that they are “Intentionally Christian.” They are also inclusive. Students do not have to sign a statement of faith, and there are even non-Christian students enrolled at MVNU – they are welcomed and supported. While students must earn 36 chapel credits per semester there are a number of ways to do so. Chapel is offered MWF at 10:00am. It is well attended. There are also service and mission opportunities that offer Chapel Credits. A prayer before class is not unusual.

MVNU’s main campus enrollment is around 1,300 students. In the fall of 2016, MVNU welcomed their largest freshman class ever at around 370 students. Many students hail from small towns, most in Ohio (92%).

Add to that new and growing programs in Engineering (Mechanical and Electrical) and Communication Sciences & Disorders (Pre-Speech Pathology or Audiology) as well as existing strong programs in Nursing, Early Childhood Education, Business Administration, and Biology and you have a vibrant institution with a lot to offer.

Campus Video: Check out our video compilation of photos from our last visit to Mount Vernon Nazarene University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV-gmkvIqDo

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ohio’s Big 5 Christian Colleges: Cedarville University

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Cedarville University is an independent Baptist school known for its adherence to the Christian tradition and its belief that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God (literal Biblical interpretation). At CU all academic disciplines and student life are influenced by a 14 point doctrinal statement (signed by all students, staff, and faculty). Daily chapel is mandatory and positively regarded by students. All students are required to complete a minor in Bible.

Students who are aligned with the biblical perspective at CU, will also discover a broad range of academic offerings and plenty of co-curricular activities. Professional programs abound (e.g. pharmacy, engineering, nursing, education, and others). Around 60% of of the 3,000 students at CU major in a professional area and the 6 month placement upon graduation is over 90%.

Co-curriculars also embody Christian Principles, with many students involved in mission, service, and outreach work. Additionally, varsity and intramural sports as well as many student organizational opportunities keep students busy.

Cedarville, in our estimation, is the most conservative of Ohio’s passionately Christian colleges.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

Campus Video: Check out our video compilation of photos taken at our last visit to Cedarville University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLIj1-mDmlw

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

 

Ohio’s Christian Colleges: Malone University

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If you are looking for a small, Christian University with a commitment to the liberal arts and an investment in professional programs, Malone University is worth a visit. Unlike other passionately Christian universities in Ohio, Malone is located in a larger city – Canton, which is close to both Akron and Cleveland as well as plenty of internship opportunities for students.

Malone boasts strong programs in Nursing, Business, and Education as well as some unique, niche programs such as the exceptional Zoo and Wildlife Biology major and the Outdoor Leadership minor. As with most Christian colleges, music and ministry-related programs are also strong.

At Malone, faculty an staff are required to sign a statement of faith, but not students. The student body hails from over 40 denominations, predominantly Protestant and Catholic. Students are often asked to consider ways to integrate their faith and academics – questions such as what does it mean to be Christian and a biologist. Students are required to attend at least 20 Spiritual Formation Opportunities (SFO’s) each semester, of which chapel is just one. There are plenty of choices.

While Malone doesn’t offer social fraternities or sororities, there are over 65 student organizations, a famous Cross Country program, solid NCAA Division II athletics and plenty of intramurals. In the fall, students can even enjoy Ohio’s only “Davenport Derby.” That’s “sofa race” for the uninformed. We’re not kidding.

Campus Video: Check out our video compilation of photos from our last visit to Malone University: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=437_GsqXIfQ

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

Ohio’s “Big 5 Christian Colleges”

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Ohio is the home of five respected “passionately Christian” colleges.  So, first a broad overview, and then we’ll hike a bit further down the trail and take a closer look at the four Ohio Christian colleges we visited this summer.

First, it’s important to understand that the vast majority of Ohio’s private institutions were founded in affiliation with a Christian denomination. Today, most of those institutions reflect their denominational heritage in their missions, values, curricular and co-curricular program offerings, rituals, institutional structure, and so on. However, over the years, most have become increasingly inclusive, diverse, academically focused, and their identity has become less reliant on their Christian denominational affiliation. So, that brings us to what I will call, “Ohio’s Big 5 Christian Colleges.” These colleges are intentionally Christian and work hard to integrate their faith perspective in all that they do.

So, who are they and what is the denominational affiliation of each? They include…
1. Cedarville University – Baptist
2. Franciscan University of Steubenville – Roman Catholic
3. Mount Vernon Nazarene University – Nazarene
4. Malone University – Quaker
5. Bluffton University – Mennonite

Now, from a practical “family looking for a college” perspective, what are a few of the factors that differentiate these schools from each other?

1. The nature of the “chapel requirement” – The Big 5 believe in the Christian community and, to varying degrees, bring their communities together for worship.
2. Required courses/minors – Required courses in Bible, Theology, Philosophy, and other curricular requirements vary by institution.
3. What is taught inside courses – This varies from reflecting upon what it means to be a nurse and a Christian to the study of Creationism in a biology course.
4. Opportunities for Activism – Some institutions support, to varying degrees, student activism around human rights issues.
5. Opportunities for Service – Colleges support and provide a wide-variety of service opportunities both in the US and outside to their students.
6. Required Statement of Faith – Colleges may require some combination of faculty, staff, and/or students to sign and adhere to a statement of faith aligned with the school’s values/teachings.
7. Conservative behavioral code of conduct – This varies from residence hall rules to codes of honesty.
8. Formation of small, supportive, Christian student groups for discussion and reflection.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of these vibrant Christian communities.

About the Author: After touring 60 of the best colleges in Ohio, Dr. Jay, a prior faculty member and dean, founded College Bound Advantage (CBA); a Columbus Ohio college consulting firm. CBA specializes in helping families optimize college selection around 15 “fit factors.” College Bound Advantage serves all of Ohio including Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati metro areas.

In order to purchase a more extensive proprietary “Campus Field Report” on any Ohio college discussed, click here: https://collegeboundadvantage.com/campus-field-report-access/

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