Should Christians attend secular universities?


By BibleAsk Team

The decision of whether Christians should attend secular universities is a complex and multifaceted issue that involves considerations of faith, education, and personal growth. While some may advocate for Christian institutions as the ideal environment for spiritual development, others argue that secular universities offer valuable opportunities for academic excellence and cultural engagement. In this comprehensive exploration, we will delve into the theological, educational, and practical dimensions of this question, drawing upon relevant passages from the Bible to provide insights and guidance for Christians navigating higher education in secular settings.

Understanding Secular Universities:

  1. Diverse Academic Environment: Secular universities are institutions of higher learning that operate without religious affiliation or endorsement. They offer a wide range of academic programs and perspectives.
  2. Cultural and Social Diversity: Secular universities attract students from diverse backgrounds and belief systems, providing opportunities for interaction and engagement with individuals holding different worldviews and values.

Biblical Principles for Decision-Making:

  1. Seeking Wisdom: Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV) exhorts, “Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” As Christians contemplate their educational choices, they are encouraged to seek wisdom and discernment through prayer, reflection, and consultation with trusted advisors.
  2. Stewardship of Talents: Christians are called to steward their God-given talents and abilities for His glory and the benefit of others. Matthew 25:14-30 (NKJV), the Parable of the Talents, emphasizes the importance of investing one’s resources wisely and responsibly.
  3. Seeking to Do God’s Will: Christians are to strive to do God’s will in their lives. “Teach me Your way” (Psalm 27:11).

Perspectives on Christian Higher Education:

  1. Christian Identity and Mission: Christian institutions of higher education prioritize faith integration and service to others as central components of their educational mission. They provide environments where students can explore the intersection of faith and learning while deepening their understanding of Christian belief and ethics.
  2. Community of Faith: Christian colleges and universities cultivate supportive communities of faith where students can form meaningful relationships, receive spiritual mentorship, and engage in worship, prayer, and service activities together.
  3. Preparation for Heaven: Christian universities offer great opportunities to acquire a rounded education that can equip a student to take a prominent place in society and to prepare Him for heaven. These institutions help students develop more than just the mental skills but also the spiritual ones to become more prepared to serve and prosper as modern-day followers of Christ. Many of the Christian universities are fully accredited and well respected—even in the secular world. Thus, Christians universities offer much more than a “safe haven,” they offer preparation for this life and the life to come.

Engaging with Secular Universities:

  1. Academic Diversity: Secular universities often offer wide academic programs and research opportunities that can enhance students’ intellectual development and career prospects. Colossians 3:23-24 (NKJV) reminds believers, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
  2. Witness and Share the Faith: Attending a secular university provides Christians with opportunities to bear witness to their faith through words and actions. 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) encourages believers to “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

Challenges and Considerations:

  1. Moral and Ethical Challenges: Secular universities may present challenges to Christian beliefs and values, including perspectives on morality, ethics, and social issues. Romans 12:2 (NKJV) advises believers, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
  2. Lack of Spiritual Instruction: While secular universities offer academic and professional development, they do not provide the spiritual instruction and discipleship found in Christian institutions. Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) reminds believers of the spiritual battle they face: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
  3. The Need for a Closer Walk with God: As for those who are called by God to attend secular universities as witnesses for the truth, they should maintain their daily relationship with God by studying His Word and praying that they may be able to stand firm against the secular tide. They should be encouraged by the examples of Joseph and Daniel, who were led by God at an early age to stand for the truth in pagan environments. Though persecuted, they were able to achieve great successes by God’s grace and testify to Him.


In conclusion, the decision of whether Christians should attend secular universities is a deeply personal one that requires prayerful discernment, consideration of individual circumstances, and alignment with biblical principles. While Christian institutions offer unique opportunities for faith integration and spiritual growth, secular universities provide diverse academic, experiences.

Ultimately, if Christians are led by God to attend secular universities, they should be rooted in their faith in order to shine the light of Christ in every environment they inhabit. As believers navigate the complexities of higher education, may they seek wisdom, discernment, and guidance from the Holy Spirit, trusting in God’s providence and leading in their educational journey (James 1:5).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.