If you’re asking the question “Why would I pay for Christian higher education?”, I get it.

A few years ago I began a working relationship with Horizon College & Seminary, and as a result I have been challenged to examine why I (and many others I know) have seemingly felt a general indifference towards Christian post-secondary institutions. I haven’t studied the subject, but it seems to me that personal and spiritual development– even within traditionally Christian families– is continually being lowered further and further down the list of “worthy investments”.

Sure, we all agree it’s worth something.

Just not our time and money!

Nearly 20 years ago, as a Christian farm-girl approaching highschool graduation, I never even considered Bible college. The main reasons being that I had no plans to be a pastor, and I could not justify (or afford) delaying the training for my end career of choice.

Since that time, I’m slowly learning that my unformed opinion on any subject prior to investigation often winds up, well, wrong. (Just don’t tell my husband.)

Here are 3 things I’ve learned from Horizon that I think you should know before you decide whether or not Christian higher education is a worthwhile investment:

1. Leadership matters.

Being a Christian leader doesn’t necessarily mean a professional minister. There are essential life skills that are worth cultivating that will help you succeed no matter where you end up. Many of the most powerful Kingdom leaders are the ones serving in everyday occupations, often quietly in the background. Horizon is all about helping leaders develop their gifts and talents to serve God competently for their entire lives in a variety of contexts, whether sacred or secular.

2. Investing in Christian training isn’t “setting your career back.”

Horizon Plus+ is an initiative that works to make your leadership training practical and meaningful according to your interests and goals. There are programs you can combine with studies and certificates from other institutions, allowing you to blend your learning and set you up for bi-vocational ministry or a more informed Biblical worldview in a secular setting. If you have certification or education from a university, college, or technical school, you can probably transfer your credits into one of Horizon’s degree programs. Learn more

3. Time and distance constraints don’t have to eliminate your options.

Education nowadays can be extremely flexible. Studying on-campus may be ideal, but sometimes (especially during COVID) it can be complicated. Horizon is ahead of the curve when it comes to distance education. Their technology allows students to take courses online through various methods and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. There are also varying course durations available, ranging from 1-week to full semesters.

I am not going to push that absolutely everyone is called to Christian higher education. But I also can’t conclude that society has been unaffected by the declining enthusiasm for Christian training.

I’d like to leave you with some thoughts from a current student, Paige. She says:

“I know there are differing opinions in the Christian community on Biblical education– whether or not it’s actually useful; whether or not the Holy Spirit should be our only teacher– but I want you all to know that through my studies, through my professors, through my textbooks, through my Bible, and through my community, God has spoken to me more than I’ve ever been able to hear before! God has been so faithful to guide me through my studies; He has given me tremendous wisdom and understanding, in my head but also in my heart! I am learning so much about God, and all this learning bleeds into my relationships– with him, with my family, with my church, and with my ministry.”

Paige on a bench

There are a lot of ways to spend your time and money. Prayerfully consider your options, and then invest in what matters!

Jayna Snider

Jayna is the Communications Coordinator for Horizon College & Seminary

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