Have you ever wondered, can I study psychology at a Christian college if I’m an atheist? If you have, you’re not alone: Christian colleges have a reputation for basing their degrees on religious merits, an obstacle that can seem impossible to go around for atheists like yourself. However, you can study at a Christian college, provided that you keep the below things in mind, especially as you navigate around your prospective college’s belief system.
Christian Colleges and Religious Requirements
Atheists can study psychology at a Christian college. This is because these colleges tend to be tolerant of other religions and often make a push to get students of other faiths, as well as atheists, to attend their school. But as an atheist, you should be aware that some Christian college do have religious requirements, such as mandatory Mass every week and an honor code that restricts the use of alcohol and drugs, pre-marital sex; these schools also have a general rule that prohibits homosexuality not just on campus, but during the course of a student’s time at the school, including off-campus.
The Christian Teaching Method
Christian colleges have a different teaching method than other schools; these are often mired in a particular Christian denomination’s morals; these can include the Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian teaching methods. Courses taught in the core curriculum at the undergraduate level may include theology, Bible studies, Christian worldviews, and more; you might find this requirement, along with the Christian teaching method, to be a challenge. In addition, some schools may focus majors from a Christian perspective, combining the major’s curriculum with requirements for missionary trips or volunteering for the Church, something you may not feel comfortable doing.
National Study Pairing Religion with College Degrees
A national study from the University of Michigan, called Monitoring the Future, took the time to measure college majors alongside religion. It was found that students who majored in psychology, and in social sciences in general, tended to become less religious over time; this signals that while a Christian college may push its moral ideals on you in the beginning, psychology itself is not a major that lends itself well to people becoming or staying religious. This correlation, while measured for the first time in 2009, has provided psychology departments with enough cause for keeping their majors, even in Christian colleges, as objective as possible; this will bode well for you if you choose to pursue psychology at a religious-based school.
Psychology at a Christian College
Religion can be discussed within the context of a psychology curriculum at a Christian school; however, because psychology is the study of human behavior, both sides of the religion issue must be analyzed. This leads psychology departments in Christian colleges to be careful about how much religion they input into their courses, allowing for atheists like yourself to enjoy the courses without feeling tied into religious ideals.
Choosing a Christian college to get a psychology degree can be an interesting choice for atheists; it enables you to see the field through a religious lens. But while it may seem like an odd choice for atheists, the answer to, can I study psychology at a Christian college if I’m an atheist, is that you absolutely can.
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