It is never helpful to generalize about an entire group in any context or for any school. In this world no place will be perfect, but rather each student should develop his or her own evaluative criteria for a good college or university to invest his/her time and efforts. My criteria in choosing Evangel, from out of state, was to attend a school that promotes hard work, excellence in academia, Christian values (e.g. biblical rules which only serve to help teenagers from making life-changing, regrettable decisions); in this life we will always need accountability. Years removed from those rules and required chapel, I personally recognize how much of a help they were to me in terms of fighting personal sin and to live a life that is pleasing to God; it's important to consider the purpose behind rules, and if you don't recognize the purpose, ask!!
Certainly Evangel fit all my criteria, though not perfectly, as no school will be perfect for anyone. As an African American, I certainly appreciate diversity, but one has to also recognize that diversity transcends ethnicity, and it is really important to GET TO KNOW PEOPLE (no one is easily put in a box)!! You might be pleasantly surprised. I'm also glad to learn that the student body is becoming increasingly diverse.
Evangel offers many opportunities for academic, spiritual and social growth; it is up to the individual to decide if it's expressed value system ("Boldly Christian, Unquestionably Academic") coincides with his or hers before attending, so that years later one doesn't have to write malicious or incoherent reviews that misrepresent the institution most of us attended. Managing expectations is a good way to reduce disappointment.
Having read a number of extremely misleading reviews about this particular Christian university, I was curious to find out if my 'theory' about finding the right fit held true; that is to see if there were other instances of malicious criticisms against OTHER "close-minded", Christian universities. Well, sure enough, there were.
I also found this particularly insightful comment which I think we would all do well to consider, regardless of our own personal values:
"Listen-Grove City College presents itself on it's website as Christian and Conservative. It doesn't hide it's beliefs. I know a lot of kids who visited the campus and loved it, but the ultra-religious atmosphere scared them away.
I was accepted at a big name state school, but opted for GCC hoping that I could stay focused on my studies and really develop my character. I did join a sorority because it really was the only way to have a normal social life. (In my opinion of what college socializing should be.)
I made some of the best friends of my life there. We are still in touch. We weren't trouble makers, but we weren't saints, either. We cared about each other a lot and we are all healthy productive working adults with families. Some married, some divorced, some gay...We are all good people.
Having said all that, I must tell you that as I aged and went into the real world, my views changed based on my life experiences. Yes, GCC is a bubble. Most of the time, a good one. Would I go there today?
Probably not. I am uncomfortable with many of the religious right's condemnation of homosexuals and non Christian religions.
Because I feel that way, does that make GCC a bad place? No! Not if you are Christian, Conservative, Anti-Gay and Anti-Semitic. If you are looking for liberal, pro choice and lesbian/gay rights, don't go here! It's simple. Just because my views are different than the college's, does that make the college bad? No way. That's the great thing about our country...you are FREE to choose!
Do your homework before you accept going here. They aren't hiding anything...they are very open about their disdain for anything other than what they believe. They aren't saying, "Come one, come all...we love everyone!" They are telling you right up front what they will and will not tolerate, so why would you go here if you don't want to participate in what they so openly espouse?
The campus is beautiful and I received an excellent education. There were definitely cliques, but it's like that in real life!
I'm not sorry I attended. I am sorry that so many people I knew when I went there had to hide who they were for fear of retribution. That kind of hatred exists everywhere...GCC didn't corner the market on it.It would be one thing if they claimed one thing and did another...they are being exactly what they say they are and they don't apologize. So before you get in and decide you want to break the rules, do your research to find a school that coincides with your belief system. You'll be much happier."
In short, find the right fit for your belief system, rather than insult a community of learners for being true to its own value system. Reflecting on my time at Evangel, I should have made a better effort to get to know faculty and students on a more personal level, rather than reinforcing my preconceived assumptions and prejudging others, word to the wise! However, I did grow as a person, sometimes not in the ways I intended, but that's life. I'm grateful for the solid academics which help me succeed professionally and in graduate school.I hope Evangel continues to improve, and for each person to find the right environment to learn and grow. I hope for all of you the best in your endeavors.