Sports and Athletics at Christian Colleges

Contributed by: Jennifer

Athletics has become a big part of many universities. Many colleges even receive thousands of dollars in revenue from their athletic programs, while other struggle just to keep a program on. Christian colleges are no different. There are those who make a huge profit from their athletics and sports teams while other schools don't. Despite the amount of money they make from their athletic programs, they share common goals. They provide students with the opportunity to continue their athletic careers while they earn their college degree in a Christian based environment. While many of the Christian schools may not receive the popularity of some of the major division I schools, there are many colleges with successful athletic programs. Whether it's DI, DII, DIII, or NAIA there are many Christian colleges who have reputable sports backgrounds and heritage. This article will discuss respected and successful Christian college athletics and sports from each collegiate division.

Division I When it comes to division 1 athletics Baylor University in Waco, Texas is one of the top schools in the United States. Not only does Baylor have a great athletics program, but they are also a great academic institution. Having a great academic program is always a major plus for any athletic program, whether they are a Christian school or not. Baylor University competes in one of the toughest DI conferences in the nation. The school is a member of the Big 12 Conference and has enjoyed solid success. From the 2003-2004 through the 2008-2009 school years Baylor has won twenty five Big 12 championships, which is only second to national athletic powerhouse University of Texas forty four. The championships won have come from the seven men's sports and nine women's sports offered by Baylor University. Baylor University has shown that Christian schools can uphold strong religious beliefs while strongly competing in today's tough and competitive athletic culture.

Division II Carson-Newman College is a Baptist liberal arts college which is located in Jefferson City, Tennessee. Carson-Newman is well versed when it comes to college sports. They have given student-athletes the chance to compete in athletics by sponsoring intercollegiate athletics for 112 years. Carson-Newman College has shown how well a Christian school can compete in the NCAA division II ranks. This Christian college has won six team national championships, has had twelve individual national champions, and has produced two hundred and twenty four All-Americans. Carson-Newman College carries eight men's sports and eight women's sports. Division III Ohio Wesleyan University is located in Deleware, Ohio. This Christian University has had its share of success in DIII athletics. They have won four national championships, have had several conference championships, and countless All-American student-athletes. They are a member of the North Coast Athletic Conference. The Battling Bishops have been a part of intercollegiate athletics since 1875. This DIII school offers plenty of athletic opportunities for both men and women. They have eleven mens sports and ten women's sports.

NAIA Sioux Falls, South Dakota is home to one of the most successful NAIA athletic programs in the nation, the University of Sioux Falls. The football teams has captured the NAIA national championship three different times, with the most recent one coming in 2008. All three seasons the Cougars went undefeated. That is not to say the number of conference titles that have been won by both men and women in basketball, and they have also produced many All-American athletes. They offer nine different men's sports and eight women's sports. The University of Sioux Falls is a part of the Great Plains Athletic Conference. These four Christian colleges and universities are only a few of the great Christian schools which offer intercollegiate athletics. These are just a few well established institutions which have excelled athletically at the college ranks. These great athletic programs offer life changing opportunities while giving young men and women a chance of playing sports in a Christian based environment. At the end of the day, students balance out faith, education, and sports.

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