Perhaps you are one of the 75 million members of the Methodist denomination worldwide or perhaps you are just interested in an excellent education with an emphasis on practical applications – either way, enrolling in a Methodist university or college in the US may be an excellent option for you.
What is a Methodist?
The United Methodist Church is the newest formation of a well-established Christian denomination. Methodists are protestant Christians who follow the theological interpretations of John Wesley, famous British theologian and social reformer. As with all branches of Christianity, the Methodist churches focus on the role of Jesus Christ as savior, with a heavy emphasis on applying Christian principles to society. “Faith in Action” is the unofficial motto of the Methodist church.
What about Methodist colleges and universities?
Thirteen Methodist colleges and universities ranked among the top 100 of Liberal Arts colleges in the US in 2012, including:
What makes these American Methodist colleges so excellent? Their commitment to rigorous modern curricula while emphasizing the importance of community outreach and service. Three Methodist schools – Emory and Henry, Willamette and Wesleyan College–ranked in the top 10 for community service participation.
In the US, there is an enormous diversity among the over one hundred Methodist colleges and universities:
- 2-year colleges
- Research universities
- Historically Black colleges
- Medical school
There are Methodist colleges and universities located in the major metropolitan cities, in US small towns and even in rural settings.
The diversity of American Methodist universities and colleges extends to ethnic diversity as well. Historically, the American Methodist church led the fight for cultural and racial equality (beginning with the abolition of slavery movement in the 19th century). As a product of that history, there are several Methodist historical black colleges in the US. Six Methodist-related colleges and universities were ranked as national models by Ebony magazine, including:
Top Methodist-Related Schools for Social Sciences, Business, Liberal Arts and Related Law:
- Social Sciences:
- Clark Atlanta University, Philander Smith College
- Rust College, Bethune Cookman University
- Liberal Arts:
- Claflin University
- Related Law:
- Clark Atlanta University, Claflin University, Dillard University
What if I’m Not Methodist?
You do not need to be a Methodist or even a Christian to study at a Methodist university or college. These colleges are eager to increase diversity on their campus. Their goal is to have a student body that reflects the world outside of the university’s walls. To that end, Methodist universities and colleges are actively recruiting students from diverse backgrounds (such as you, the international student).
Of course, you will be surrounded by Christians, so you should be tolerant of their faith, even if you don’t share it.
The focus of Methodist colleges and universities is that education should address the full human being. As Christians, Methodists believe that people are only complete when they have a relationship with God. But even if you don’t share their theology, if you believe that people have a spiritual side that needs development, then a Methodist university or college may be just right for you.
A core principle of Methodism is that the real value of education (and faith, and being human in general) is the impact you have on your society and your world. For Methodist colleges and universities, the purpose of education is to enhance a person’s ability to make a difference. If you believe that a life of significance is better than a life, than you should consider enrolling in a Methodist university or college.
Do Methodist Universities and Colleges in America welcome International Students?
Absolutely. Nearly every American Methodist college and university has a department dedicated to recruiting and supporting international students as they pursue their college (and post-college) education. You should research and contact those departments specifically as part of your admissions process to see how each individual school can best meet your needs.