Faith-Based vs Non Faith-Based Institutions | What's the Difference?

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Your grades will fall faster than an angel without its wings if you plagiarize at a faith-based institution!

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Okay, okay, okay! Plagiarizing at any institution will garner less than satisfactory scores and expulsion too!

So what’s the big deal? Is there truly a difference between faith-based institutions and your traditional academic institutions that tout no religious affiliations? Well, to begin, I’ll get the minor dissimilarities out of the way, then I’ll expound a bit so you can deduce for yourselves. Check out my list below:

Faith-Based Institutions

Limited sports teams available

Prayers commence prior to and after each lecture

Only academic frats and sororities are allowed

Prayer requests are disclosed campus-wide

PDA is prohibited

Located in rural communities (smaller on-campus populace and classroom size)

Non Faith-Based Institutions

Typical sports teams present

Lectures begin without prior devotion

Pan-Hellenic organizations are allowed

Only answers from previous exams are disclosed

Get a room, but PDA is allowed

Located in or nearby metropolitan areas (larger student body and classroom populace)

So how was that comparison for starters? Those items only scratch the surface while demonstrating the fact that most of their differences are only superficial as the root and prime reason both institutions exist is to offer its students a quality education - plain and simple.

Now for the nitty gritty…!

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What are Faith-Based Institutions?

Faith-based institutions are academies of learning whose values are rooted in a particular faith. They may be Baptist, Protestant, Church of God, or even Catholic. The spectrum ranges. Because they are usually privately funded, they are keen on accepting monies from organizations with like or at least similar value systems as theirs. What does that mean for you? Well, since they are receiving your hard-earned, tax-paying, Sallie Mae dollars, they’d prefer you hold those same beliefs too. But if ya don’t, no harm, no foul!

What if I have no religious affiliation?

What if I’m non-denominational?

Even better! There are actually some non-denominational academic institutions out there that are probably perfect for you (I even teach at one!). Oh yeah, and because of that buzzword we hear incessantly - “inclusion” - you can almost guarantee that even the most sanctified places are implementing its practices and being appreciative and accepting of everyone regardless.

Fun @ Faith-Based Institutions…

Is it possible?

You’re in luck cuz anything is possible! Yes, you can have fun at a faith-based institution! Now mind you, you can’t be in there twerking and having Miley Cyrus and Meg the Stallion on repeat, but Kirk Franklin on heavy rotation isn’t necessary either!

Your typical extracurricular activities are most definitely present, and if you’re lucky, they will even let ya bop to Meg and Miley (just the edited versions)! Honestly though, from experience, I’ve heard Quavo at Valentine’s Soirees and Lauren Daigle at bonfires - it’s really not as rigid as you might think. And even though I have heard of a few of these institutions being quite strict on things like “fun,” most are not.

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Moreover, despite the absence of Pan-Hellenic frats and sororities and a few sports teams, you can still have as much fun and get in just as much trouble as you would at a traditional institution, so don’t get it twisted! The only difference is at a faith-based institution, you are held accountable for your actions in more ways than one, and will, therefore, have to make restitution in the forms of fines and volunteerism.

Speaking of volunteerism, acts of service are promoted and incentivized like crazy at faith-based institutions. Typically, at traditional institutions, students volunteer in order to earn community service hours for possible induction into fraternities and sororities, and once admitted, they continue these contributions while in the organization. On the contraire, at faith-based organizations, you are a steward of your community from the time you walk through the door till you strut across that stage (and hopefully beyond that if we’ve instilled some type of home training in ya before your departure!).

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What about church?

Do I have to attend?

I meannnnnnnn, if you’re gonna attend a faith-based institution, then one would assume you’d attend their church, right? But let’s assume, just for kicks, that you are non-denominational and value most, if not all, aspects of your faith-based institution. There isn’t a roll call and no one is going to twist your arm nor ask for your John Hancock upon entry through the chapel’s doors, but attending every once in awhile is definitely encouraged. There are some perks to it too!

Hopefully, this doesn’t sound too much like a mesothelioma infomercial, but “if you or a loved one are ill or are needing prayer, consolation, and well wishes, then your chapel is your go-to. Either praying by yourself or getting the faculty, staff, and student body to assist, you should take comfort in knowing you have an entire gospel gang behind you.

What else do I need to know?

Is faith-based right for me?

I’m bossy with my baby brother, but I’ll spare you. That being said, convincing you to choose one or the other just ain’t gonna happen! I will let you know, however, that I’ve taught and attended both types and I’ve had tons of fun and experienced immense support from both as well. Albeit, they have their fair share of nuances and rewards, the education you receive from either will be paramount to all (as long as they are accredited, of course!).


All jokes aside, no matter which you choose, be sure your academic pursuits are aligned with their instruction, your funds are allotted for, and your heart takes precedence in your decision. And whatever you do, don’t be like me…terrified of attending a faith-based institution and shrouded with thoughts of being judged and thinking if I was anything but a Proverbs 31 woman, God would smite me. Thank goodness all I had to do was be myself! ;)

Remember to Live Life, Beautifully ❤️