Q. I'm a senior in high school and I can’t believe my high school days are almost over. I have a close knit group of Christian friends and will miss them. I know many college students have little or no faith in God. What can I do to prepare for living in a secular environment? How can I stay Christian in college?
A. Your question is an important one. Many Christian students lose their faith while in college. In fact, I lost my faith while in graduate school. I drifted away from God – I didn’t plan it; I just drifted away. I didn’t find a church nor did I join a Christian group on campus. Don’t let this happen to you.
In order to stay Christian in college it’s essential you find a Christian group of friends on campus who share your faith. It’s also essential you find a church on campus and become involved there. You need other Christians and they need you. No matter how busy you are with your studies and other activities make your Christian connections a priority. Without these, it’s doubtful you will stay Christian in college. The secular atmosphere over four years will infect and dilute your beliefs. Even if you manage to stay Christian in college without a church or Christian group your faith will not grow. College experiences with other Christians will help you become mature in the faith.
In college you will likely be exposed to many new ideas, beliefs and teachings. Some of these will refute the existence of God and teach you about “scientific discoveries” that challenge Scripture. In addition to skepticism about faith in God you will be exposed to many differing views on dating, sex, profanity, cheating, drinking, drugs and more.
In addition to having your own Christian community on campus to help you stay Christian in college I recommend you read three books:
· How to Stay Christian in College
· Ask Me Anything
· Ask Me Anything 2
All three of these books are by J. Budziszewski (aka Professor Theophilus), a college professor. Budziszewski’s books are beautifully written and very entertaining. They include information on other beliefs, biblical insights and much practical advice. Budziszewski is a philosopher and skilled at explaining in a logical way how to stand firm in your faith and how to defend it in a secular environment where it may be questioned. He gives reasoned, direct, thoughtful Christian answers to the most difficult questions students (and all of us) face in today’s world. This includes practical tips on navigating almost every aspect of living on a college campus including dating, sex, and roommate issues.
The Ask Me Anything books are written as a dialog with a “student” in person or by email. The topics in these books range from dating, living arrangements, premarital sex, and homosexuality to how to respond intelligently to post modern, atheistic professors. I learned much from his answers and enjoyed his light hearted and caring yet tell-it-like-it-is replies. Every chapter speaks to students about the issues they face and the questions they have and will help them think logically and “Christianly” about their own life and circumstances. These books along with involvement with Christians on campus will enable you to stay Christian in college.
“Cling tightly to your faith in Christ, and always keep your conscience clear.” 1 Timothy 1:19 NLT
P.S. Are you looking for graduation gifts? Give the books listed above.