Exploring Your Creative Side

5 Benefits to Studying the Arts at a Christian College

Do you want to impact the world through the arts? Whether you’re interested in developing your creativity in music, visual arts, film, theatre or dance, here are five ways a Christian college arts program will benefit you.

    Christian colleges provide excellence in the arts.

Anna Macke, a graduate of Taylor University who participated in both the visual art and music programs, was challenged to grow in her creative talents while in college.

“The various musical and theatrical performances in which I was involved challenged me to give everything I could to create a vibrant, believable, and beautiful character with whom others could empathize and relate. The same empathy was a goal striven for in the fine art department as well. Not only was I challenged to use various mediums, but also to hone my craftsmanship and skill through rigorous exercises.”

    Faith informs your art.

Faith is incorporated into experiences by asking questions and grappling with topics through a Christian perspective. No matter what creative field a student expresses interest in, Christian colleges use the arts to explore, enlighten, and give a redemptive perspective to the human experience. Ultimately, these creative expressions should help us to better understand God and the world around us.

    A one-on-one approach enhances your experience.

Because many Christian colleges are a smaller size, students receive more one-on-one attention in classes and personalized instruction in their field. The individualized approach helps students to grow to their highest potential and was instrumental to Anna’s development in art.

“One particularly challenging drawing venture was for my advanced drawing final project in which we were required to use charcoal, gouache, and watercolor in five larger-than-life-sized drawings. I spent hundreds of hours working on these pieces. Periodically we would be critiqued on our progress, not only by the professor, but also by our fellow drawing students. What an opportunity for growth! I have never been more proud of a final project than I was with those.”

    Creative opportunities are expanding at Christian colleges.

If you want to study digital media, you no longer have to attend a large university or go to the big city. Many Christian colleges, like Huntington University, offer opportunities in digital media, including animation, broadcasting, film production and film studies. Students also have the chance to compete in Christian college film festivals, including the Forester Film Festival at Huntington University and the Imago Film Festival at Judson University.

    The arts can give us hope.

At Calvin College, students performed an original play that tackled the subject of bullying and offered hope to students. “Theater is about what it means to be human in a broken world,” said Debra Freeberg, Calvin communication arts and sciences professor. Understanding both the brokenness and the hope and expressing them through creativity is part of the Christian college arts experience.

Christian colleges give students the chance to shape the world around them through the arts. Whether you’re looking for a program in film, music, the visual arts, or theatre, be sure to explore the creative opportunities available at your next college visit.

Sara Ward has a master’s degree in educational psychology and currently writes articles for businesses, educational groups and nonprofits across the web. She also writes a personal blog on faith, adoption and loss at poetsandsaints.com

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