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"Five Things to Consider When Choosing a College" Checklist for Parents

"Five Things to Consider When Choosing a College" Checklist for Parents

September 22, 2014

John GredyDr. John Gredy serves as Executive Vice President for Strategic Growth at Cedarville University. In addition to 30-plus years in college administration and admissions, Dr. Gredy and his wife Linda are the parents of two university graduates. His practical list of “Five Things to Consider When Choosing a College" draws on his experiences as a dad and a college administrator. Enjoy!


1. Choosing a college is a major life decision. Therefore, make the effort and take the time to investigate, visit, and ask others what they think of a college. Above all else, pray for God's leading!

2. Your son or daughter's discovering their calling is important because God calls us to vocations. Therefore, from the moment you step foot on a campus, seek the mind of God about your student's calling (life's work) and ask Him if this is a place that will help your son or daughter discover that calling and be equipped successfully.

3. Start with the big picture! The early colleges, such as Harvard, Princeton, and Dartmouth, were founded to build character and train pastors. Now, over 200 years later, these institutions have changed their purposes and include nothing related to preparing students to follow Christ or prepare for ministry. Fortunately today, Christian colleges and universities still value the truth of scripture and promote spiritual development and a life of service for all of their students.

4. But, even Christian colleges vary. What would I look for?

  • a strong belief that the Bible is inerrant
  • strong emphasis on the Gospel, missions, and spiritual formation
  • quality academic programs that equip students to use their chosen profession to influence for Christ.

In today's world, if you desire that your son or daughter be an ambassador for Christ, it is clear that having professional competency will win the respect of colleagues and will give them an entree to share the Gospel. 

5. My unique background having worked in a Big 10 university, a community college, and now Christian universities has helped me to contrast the difference between a Christ-centered education and one devoid of any Christian or even moral influence. Simply watching what happens to students (e.g. the percentage who succeed and go on to fulfilling careers) in both environments has caused me to place an extremely high value on Christ-centered education. A Christian environment and a quality education are extremely important for life preparation and to prepare for a lifetime of influencing for Christ.

Dr. Gredy enjoys interacting with parents and families during the college search process. Contact him by email.


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Posted in Academics Careers Spiritual Growth Why Christ Centered Higher Education?