Is it ok for me to go to a Baptist College with my friend (who is Baptist)?

I am a confirmed catholic but do not know if it is ok for me to go to a Baptist university. The one im thinking of accepts people from various denominations and some people who go there don’t even have a denomination.

No, you shouldn’t put yourself in spiritual danger.

Talk to your spiritual director or pastor about it.

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First, it’s not a good idea to attend a Baptist university as a Catholic. You will likely be inundated with people trying to convert you and/or questioning your Catholicism.

Second, it’s not a good idea to plan on attending the same college as your high school friend. College is a time for meeting new people and probably discovering new interests. High school friendships tend to grow apart in that atmosphere. I know by the time I’d been at college one weekend, I’d already made several new friends I was interested in spending all my time with. It might be one thing if there was some reason for you to attend this school other than your friend (like if you both won scholarships to the same college) but if you’re just going there because your friend is going, that’s not a good plan.


Honestly, it really depends on the college specifically. Some colleges are only historically affiliated with a denomination, while others actively support their denomination. Figure out which your prospective college is.

Also, check to see if the college has a Newman Club/Center. If it does, then try to contact the officers in the club and ask about what it’s like being a Catholic on campus.


It depends on if its a Baptist college, or if its just a college which happens to be Baptist.

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The university that I go is virtually secular, but if an official religion had to be attributed to it, it would be a university that happens to be Presbyterian. If you feel that going to a university that is fundamentally/overtly Baptist would hamper your faith as a Catholic, then you need to consider that. If it just happens to be Baptist but doesn’t really get involved with that faith much across campus, then I would say that’s fine.

This is also a good point to consider.

OP, I would seriously consider the quality of the school. Typical Baptist Universities aren’t known for a quality education.

Also, I’m not sure what your level of interaction is with many Baptists besides your friend. I can guarantee that once you are known to be Catholic, you will experience a ton of evangelizing pressure. It’s just what they do!

While it sounds nice to attend school with a friend, someone you already know, college is about forming new friends and widening your circles. Going in with a friend can actually hamper this experience. Go to a school that’s going to give you the best education first!


I’m not sure if its rumours and speculation only, but is it true that the Catholic argument of apostolic succession for some reason “doesn’t work against Baptists?” Sorry that I can’t give any more details for their reasoning behind this, but I’ve had very little interaction with Baptists.

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I’m not Catholic so I’m not in a good position to answer that. I do know they don’t accept apostolic succession or the pope but I don’t know why?

Historians, help me out!

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I have some knowledge of Presbyterian universities because some of my in-laws attended one. In my experience, colleges that are identified with Mainline Protestant faiths such as Presbyterians do not tend to proselytize to students who don’t happen to be members of the faith in question. However, colleges that are Baptist or Evangelical are a different story, and the faith may even affect what is taught in class and how it is taught (as in, the Bible says XYZ coming up in a class that has nothing to do with religion or Biblical history).

At an absolute minimum, I’d recommend visiting the campus and, if possible, sitting in on a few classes in different subject areas to get a feel for the atmosphere and the quality of education.

Yup. That was my question. How Baptist is it? I could probably survive Baylor. Wheaton not so much.

The biggest drawback is that you probably won’t find a Catholic community, an important lifeline during those tumultuous college years. Personally I’d rather attend a secular university with a Newman Center than a Baptist college without one.


Yeah, when we were choosing, universities allowed students to participate sample lectures. That was very helpful.

And don’t forget @MrGamer that a lot of decisions and reasonings need to be made before attending where you’ll most likely spend the next few years of your life.

I think it may “work” effectively only after the Baptist is educated about the early church.

So, I think “apostolic succession” would be shrugged off by most Baptists who have never studied or read about what the early church actually looked like. Common amongst Baptists and evangelicals is the concept of the “great apostasy”, a long period of history, beginning very soon after the last apostles died, and ending at the protestant reformation in the 1500s. In this long in-between time, they commonly say that the truths of Christianity were so distorted so that few or none could be “saved” or have a true faith. And so the reformation (supposedly) rediscovered those essential aspects of faith and made them accessible again.

For Baptists and Evangelicals, apostolic succession begins to be significant to them only after they dive into church history and find out that the very earliest church did not at all resemble a typical Baptist or evangelical service of today. Instead, the very earliest church records (the early Church Fathers’ writings) show a very Catholic looking church. It is at that point that many evangelicals or Baptists are struck by the fact that the Catholic Church of today is very similar to the very early church. At this point, they may also be quite struck by how consistently God shepherded his church throughout 2000 years of church history.

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This plays a big part. There’s many Protestant Christian colleges, especially the really historic ones, which only have a historic connection with their founding denomination and probably have very diverse campuses in terms of religion. There might be little to no involvement or ministry on campus by that college’s affiliated denomination. I’d say this would be pretty safe for a Catholic, because you can find the Newman center or the local parish and not worry about harassment or proselytizing from fellow students.

On the other extreme, there’s colleges where all students are required to go to “chapel” and the college’s affiliation permeates every aspect of student life. I’m thinking of places such as Liberty University. It’d be pretty hard to go somewhere like that as a Catholic. Especially if it’s the kind of place where all my classmates would be trying to “evangelize” me.

And then there’s everything in between.

Equally important for the OP however, is to go to the college you want to go to, not the one your friend wants to go to. You want to go to a college that has the academic program you want and offers the things you’re looking for. It’s tough to leave friends behind, but you’ll meet new people and make lots of great friends. Plus, you don’t have to go to the same college as your high school friend to still be friends. My best friend from high school went to a different college, but he’s still one of my best friends today (although it also helped that we only went to college an hour away from each other). New experiences are hard, but often rewarding in the end. Don’t be afraid to embrace the change.


That should get the “Wise Statement of the Week” award.

Given the “fall-out” rate between the ages of 18 and about 25 (29 for CARA), the stats are that age group has an astounding 18% of Catholics - young men and women - who attend Mass regularly - as in, every Sunday.

Which leaves the other 82% attending some of the time to none of the time.

Given the number of colleges and universities available, a Baptist college/university would be so far down my list that it wouldn’t even be on the bottom of page three.

I attended grad school at a Presbyterian college, and they had an active Catholic group with Mass every Saturday evening. As far as proselytizing, I am not sure that was even in their dictionary. Good people, and the pastor was a friend of mine, and his wife and I provided a non-denominational youth group to incoming freshmen.

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I went to a Baptist University and discovered Catholicism!


To those saying it’s not wise – would you have similar concerns with a Baptist attending a Catholic college?

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Catholic schools do not tend to proselytize non-Catholic students.

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No because Catholicism is the true faith and there is no danger to their souls in going.

I would recommend against Catholics going to Notre Dame university though.

Notre Dame, like most Catholic Universities, made a move in the 1960’s to change and appoint a board of directors who were in turn making changes to the universities and colleges themselves. In part that included moving away from a strict Catholic identity and a general mandate that professors adhere to the faith.

The net result was that while many of the colleges and universities which were founded by orders were no longer run by those orders, but by a non-order board, and non-Catholic and non-believer professors were hired. They continued (to this day) to have priests, brothers, and/or sisters on staff and as teachers; but the university marches to the board of directors.

The result has been that a number of Catholics have expressed recommendations such as yours.

I suspect that anyone who would take the time to contact graduates of Notre Dame and do thorough interviews of them would find that faithful Catholics who attended ND and have graduated from there are as likely to continue to be faithful Catholics after graduating as just about any other group of faithful Catholics applying at any of a multitude of Catholic, Portestant and State schools being faithful after they graduate.

And I do not question that the President of ND (and several of them) have made what I consider to be bonehead decisions wrongly made.

In short, a kid who goes there or anywhere else with a weak or non-existent faith (as in, the kids who attend Mass because their parents require it, or have quit because their parents don’t have the backbone to require it) is likely to come out of college or university with little or no faith - somewhat like the GIGO rule.

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