Expert educational consultant Mark Montgomery visits the campus of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California to talk about the options for religious students.
So today I am on the campus of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. It’s January, and of course in Southern California it’s pretty nice, about 75 degrees Fahrenheit, absolutely gorgeous campus here up on the hill, overlooking the town on Santa Barbara. Westmont College has about 1,300 students. They come from all over the country and all over the world, but there is one thing that unites them, and that is religion. This is a Christian college, and I’ll read to you really quickly the admissions statement. “The college is an undergraduate residential Christian liberal arts community, serving God’s kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants, and faithful leader for global engagement with the academy, church, and world.”
In the United States, many of our colleges and universities were originally founded by religious leaders, religious denominations, including all the Ivy League schools, including most of the private schools in the United States. Many of those have eliminated their ties to religion and the church, but in fact, in the past many of them — the focus of those schools was teaching a lot of theology and religion. That’s no longer the case, but here at Westmont, it definitely is the case that a fundamental evangelical perspective on the world is necessary to feel at home here. The students, the faculty, the administration all adhere to a statement of faith, of accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, and having a Christ-centered inquiry into the quest for knowledge, thinking of God as the source of all knowledge and truth.
So there are other schools that are like this in other parts of the country, and some are even close by, Pepperdine is a Christian school as well, that’s in Malibu, not too far from here. But the point I want to make is that you have to decide for yourself the degree to which religion plays a role in your life. If it is central to your academic inquiry, central to your very existence, then coming to a place like Westmont is going to be a great fit for you. Very important for you to understand your own priorities, and if the church is at the center of your priorities, then you should definitely consider a place like Westmont. Great liberal arts education, beautiful setting, and a student body that is going to help you feel comfortable as you take on your college education.