http://sharperiron.org/comment/22607#comment-22607]From another thread -
Pastors have a large influence over what schools are seen to be on the 'approved' list for a church. This is done by the literature you promote, the music/drama groups you might have in, the college reps, etc. Obviously each family makes their own decisions, but don't discount the influence of pastoral ministry.
I've been to several churches that have no 'approved' list, and do not attempt in any way to promote certain colleges. I personally prefer this approach- if a church member wants the church leadership's opinion about a school, that's one thing. But IMO it's problematic for a church to purposefully promote certain colleges.
For starters, the primary reason to attend college is to obtain skills and a degree in a particular field of study. How can church leadership offer blanket recommendations of colleges unless they know what vocations their youth are considering, and they have solid information about the quality of the courses offered at the colleges they prefer? Are pastors in the business of studying http://www.fiskeguide.com/ Fiske ? Or should they leave that task to parents?
When Christian colleges and seminaries are promoted exclusively it also tends to give the impression that the youth should consider ministry vocations as their first choice and all other careers as second class. I've seen and felt the pressure that parents and kids felt when particular colleges were highly touted, the ministry was referred to as 'the highest vocation'. When families chose a local secular college because 1) it fit the student's needs 2) it was more affordable, they were looked at as being worldly, having their priorities out of order (after all, studying to earn a decent living is so... carnal). Where would the church be without accountants, carpenters, plumbers, computer techs, and HVAC guys? Why aren't they honored for their career choices and hard work?
Let's face it- when the students from the ooh-aah college came home on break, you'd've thunk it was a precursor to The Second Coming- and all the students who attended other 'not recommended' or secular colleges might as well have been pond scum.
Maybe that doesn't happen in your neck of the woods, but I've seen it for 30 years in IFBdom. It's something to be very careful about, IMO.