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(PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK)Nearly half (48 percent) of pastors say they would recommend a Christian college or university to high school students who are applying to college for the first time.
Because churches are important connection points between faith-based institutions of higher learning and prospective students, Christian and Bible colleges must work to deepen their relationships with pastors, a study has suggested.
Association - Biblical - Higher - Education - Barna
Together with the Association for Biblical Higher Education, the Barna Group asked nearly 1,000 American pastors from a variety of denominations, regions and church sizes to find out their views of and experiences with Christian educational institutions in a study titled "Why Go to College?"
Nearly half (48 percent) of pastors said they would recommend a Christian college or university to high school students who are applying to college for the first time, and one-third (34 percent) said they would recommend a Bible college. However, when they consider congregants who are interested in pursuing ministry, church leaders were about equally likely to say they would recommend a Bible college (41 percent) and a Christian college or university (42 percent).
Half - Pastors - College - Someone - Church
More than half of pastors reported recommending a Bible college to someone in their church congregation (56 percent), and nearly six in 10 advocated applying to a specific Bible college (57 percent).
Barna found that most pastors view Bible colleges to be training centers for future pastors, missionaries and theologians. In contrast, Christian colleges or universities are seen as appealing to students who want an education with a strong Christian foundation, regardless of their area of study.
Colleges - Offerings - Training - Ministry - Pastors
Although many Bible colleges have diversified their educational offerings beyond training for vocational ministry, many pastors did not seem to be aware of these programs.
"The Barna findings highlight the need for schools to communicate more clearly about the benefits of a biblical education beyond ministry preparation," the authors said. "If...
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