New Mexico, which celebrated its centennial in 2012, is home to a quickly growing and diverse population. One in 10 residents are American Indian, compared to only 1.2% of the population nationwide, and 46.7% are Hispanic, compared to 16.7% nationwide. Though the state’s ethnic diversity differs from that of the country, New Mexico’s religious makeup is similar to that of the country. One in four New Mexico residents is evangelical Protestant, compared to 26% nationwide; 17% are other Protestants, compared to 25% nationwide; and 26% are Catholic, compared to 24% nationwide.
Education in New Mexico
New Mexico is home to 44 degree-granting institutions, most of which are community or junior colleges, and only three of which are four-year, private, not-for-profit schools. There is one Christian college in New Mexico, University of the Southwest, in Hobbs. It offers degrees in fields including biological sciences, psychology, business, and education, as well as a degree in Christian Studies with concentrations in pastoral ministry and youth ministry. It also offers fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as criminal justice, business, and psychology.
Students in New Mexico may also be interested in out-of-state online Christian colleges with a wide variety of degree programs, such as nondenominational, Lynchburg, Va.-based Liberty University or Catholic, Saint Leo, Fla.-based Saint Leo University, or Christian colleges in bordering states, such as Church of Christ-affiliated Abilene Christian University in Texas, nondenominational Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University, or nondenominational Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.
As a state, New Mexico has struggled to keep up with its population growth and to maintain an educated population. The state’s college enrollment increased 23.8% from 2005 to 2010, exceeding the national growth of 20.2%. The percentage of New Mexicans with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 25.4%, slightly lower than the national average of 28%. The state’s six-year college graduation rate is 40.6%, well below the national average of 56%, which places it 46th nationwide.
Despite its struggles, though, there are definite advantages for students who want to go to one of the colleges in New Mexico. The state’s colleges allocate funding much more equitably across fields than other states, particularly the engineering field. While nationally schools give just 15.3% to engineering research, New Mexico’s schools give 30.2%. New Mexico colleges are also more generous in funding physical sciences, psychology, and “other sciences” than other states, and less generous in funding life sciences and environmental sciences.
Working in New Mexico
New Mexico expects to see an employment increase of 15.9% by 2020, with several industries and occupations faring better than average. Some of the careers that will see the greatest increase include financial examiners, at 35%; physical therapists, at 32.1%; medical scientists, at 31.8%; athletic trainers, at 31.3%; and all postsecondary teachers, at 30%. Other fields that will see growth include information technology and health care support. Students in New Mexico will likely benefit from earning degrees in finance, biology, exercise science, computer science, or nursing.
Students who enroll in Christian colleges not only have the chance to earn high-quality degrees, but courses taught from a Christian worldview and opportunities to develop Christian leadership skills. To find the New Mexico Christian college that’s right for you, or to find one nearby or with online programs, search our list below.