The Problem with Christian Universities
I knew how many rules I was subjecting myself to when I decided to attend ORU.
Curfews, no drinking, and for a while, nothing less than slacks in class.
I loved it.
I was 18 and ready to conquer the world.
Every chapel was a face-to-face meeting with God surrounded by hundreds of others pointed in the same direction.
I loved my roommate and those that were on my floor.
Classes were challenging, but I was ready to beat them with prayer at the beginning of every hour.
Then somewhere—somehow between freshman and senior year—something changed.
I hated the legalism.
I hated the restrictions (even though by that point I was wearing jeans to class…)
I hated the constant “Christianese”, especially when it was abused.
Chapel was no longer exciting, and I realized that not everyone was pointed in that same direction…
I was mad. And I was ready to be done.
The time had come to graduate. I wiped my hands of that place, and I continued the journey of “working out my own salvation”…without it being forced by someone else.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been wonderful.
The freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want.
Interestingly enough, I have found myself longing for those regimented days—and mainly for the availability of the blatant presence of my Father.
It was easy and accessible and wonderful…even when I was sick of it.
Life after Christian college is a much different world.
And in med school, it can be a stretch to be at one church service every week…let alone campus worship, devotionals, small groups, and all the outreaches that were once a part of everyday life.
No—people weren’t perfect, and neither was the system.
But I always knew where I could walk in and just be swept away without being judged or looked at as weird for soaking in His Presence.
In case you are wondering, no, I still don’t agree with absolutely every decision that was made, whether it was in regards to a student or basic policy.
And yes, we are all burned in these places because it is run by people.
Flawed, prideful, obnoxious….and Forgiven people…just like me.
Realistically, they do a better job than I ever could—and I have a high level of respect for those who have chosen to serve in a low glamour, low income situation such as this…simply because they feel called to do so.
So for those of you in the middle of it, it’s normal to become bored with it.
It’s ok to be ready to move on.
But I would say this…
Soak it up.
Every sweet moment in worship—every time a teacher decides to preach in class and forces you to make up a lecture on your own—every time someone prays out loud—every time you’re required to read the Bible…
It won’t last forever.
Fill up now for those deserts ahead.
There’s a reason that God has placed you in such an oasis.
He knows that somewhere down the road, you’re going to need it.
And if you’re just going to gripe about it the whole time, you always have the option to leave. There are many universities around that have less rules and are less expensive. So always remember it’s your choice to be there…
I learned valuable lessons and gained priceless friendships—many of which walked with me through my frustrations.
It took a while, but I can honestly say that I love ORU.
I loved my time there.
I love what I learned.
I love the people I met.
I would even love for my children to choose to receive their education there.
It really was a good experience because it was exactly where I was supposed to be.
So what was the problem?
What is the problem that so often causes bitterness instead of growth at so many Christian Universities?
The Main Problem with my Christian University at the time was not the university itself.
It wasn’t the administration, the always Hillsong worship, or the rules.
The problem with my Christian University was me.