Studying STEM at a Christian University
When picking out where to go to college, you don’t have to choose between a school that will prepare you for a cutting-edge STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) career and one that will nurture your faith. As the world becomes more reliant on technology, STEM-related careers are growing in demand. In fact, jobs in the STEM field have grown by 79 percent in the past 30 years, and opportunities are expected to grow by another 11 percent between 2020 and 2030.
When you study STEM at a Christian university, you can prepare for an enriching career while growing in your commitment to Christ. Read on to learn what getting a STEM degree in this context might look like and how to choose a Christian university that’ll help you reach your professional and spiritual goals.
How Studying STEM at a Christian University Is Different
In many ways, studying STEM at a Christian university isn’t much different than studying STEM at a secular college. You’ll dig into your subject matter with vigor, learn what it takes to make a difference in your field, and develop the skills you need to do your job well.
But a Christian university brings something else to the table—your faith. Christian universities recognize that your ability to thrive depends on more than academics; your spiritual and social lives are critical to your personal success, too. While many Christian universities offer STEM programs, Azusa Pacific University is the only institution in the Council of Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to earn the presigious R2 designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Here are a few ways a Christian university can nurture your path to a STEM career.
Discover How Your Career Supports Your Beliefs
Whether you study mathematics, engineering, biology, chemistry, or biochemistry, researching your subject matter within a Christian context can help you understand how your faith and religious values relate to your career. No matter what field you’re preparing to enter, you’ll face unique ethical dilemmas. A Christian university gives you the tools you need to make those decisions based on a biblically faithful worldview.
Integrate Your Profession with Your Christian Mission
Your career means more than coming to work every day and taking home a paycheck at the end of the month. Studying STEM at a Christian university elevates the meaning of your work, helping you understand how God can work through your STEM career to achieve a higher purpose.
Build Your Faith Community
At a Christian university, you’ll expand and strengthen your community. College is a great opportunity to build a network of like-minded Christian leaders in your field who can support you in exploring the intersection between faith and STEM at college and beyond. You can build this network at secular universities too, but Christian universities offer built-in tools to make it even easier.
Considering Where to Get Your STEM Degree
Deciding where to study STEM at a Christian university is an important decision—and it’s one you should take time to make. Consider the following as you weigh your options:
Will It Prepare You for Tomorrow’s Careers?
STEM-related jobs are changing rapidly. Prepare for how your chosen career looks today—but also consider what jobs in your field will look like in five, 10, and 30 years. Some careers that will thrive in the decades to come don’t even exist yet. Make sure your university offers a forward-thinking education that will equip you with the skills you need to succeed in a variety of roles. Additionally, having research opportunities at the undergraduate level provides a leg up in future career options.
How Does It Integrate Faith with Learning?
There are many different ways to approach faith integration. When you’re looking at a school, figure out how it does it. Most will have a clear description of how they position learning in a faith-based environment.
What Do Christian Leaders in Your Anticipated Field Say?
Seek advice from people in your church or a sister church in your community who are further along on your desired STEM career path. As you narrow down your options, consider asking each college or university if it can connect you with an alum in your field for deeper insight.
How Does It Leverage Liberal Arts to Broaden Your STEM Education?
The emphasis on liberal arts is often one of the chief advantages of studying STEM at a Christian university. Since Christian universities actively seek to integrate faith with all academic areas, they tend to be more intentional about bringing liberal arts into STEM programs.
Want to learn more about how APU integrates faith and learning? APU’s Center for Research in Science is specifically designed to help students understand the relationships between science, faith, and culture.
Posted: August 7, 2023