Keeping Your Faith in College
So, perhaps I incorrectly titled this article. I should have named it “Growing in Faith While in College” because I really do believe that practicing your faith in college goes much deeper than just keeping it.
Honestly, my faith experience in college has been challenging. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is. Research shows that in college, over half of all college students decide to stop practicing their faith. Keeping it is difficult in a secular world, but it is not impossible.
I’ll share some ideas on how to not only keep your faith, but also grow and share it while in college.
Find a Church
First thing’s first: Before moving to San Angelo, find a church. This way you’ll be prepared and won’t find yourself on Sunday morning driving around looking for a church or deciding to skip.
By finding a church before school starts, you can familiarize yourself with the ministries offered and maybe even visit a few times.
Find a Mentor
There are a lot of wise and welcoming people within the church. You just have to find them. Find a person you can confide in and ask for spiritual counseling. Be sure that they hold you accountable for your decisions and are trustworthy.
I understand this can be hard for some people and making true friendships in any organization, for that matter, can be difficult. Try to find people who are there to support you and again hold you accountable. If you fail the first time, don’t give up — you will have plenty more opportunities.
Get Involved on Campus
What better way to remain plugged into your faith than to find a place where you already spend most of your time? Join a faith-based campus organization. These organizations provide resources and host events to help you out.
Now that you have contacts to let you know about events . . . attend them! This past February, I attended a Hillsong United Concert and it was AMAZING! Go on retreat to get away from everything for a little while. Also, conferences are a great way to meet other college students who share similar interests with you.
Go On a Mission Trip
This year, I will register to go on a mission trip. I’m not sure where I will go yet, but I am already excited. Mission trips are a great way to serve and discover a little more about yourself and others.
Studying deeper about your church and faith is like studying for your major in college — it determines where you’ll stand at the end of your college career. Take time to read scripture or study apologetics. Plus, it gives you the knowledge to defend what you believe in.
Spread the Good News
Share what you have with others. Though you are only a young person, you are good and have a duty and capability to share the gospel. Respect people of other denominations and don’t press your ideals on them. If you experience rejection, simply dust off your sandals and move forward.
I’d like to end with one of my favorite quotes from St. Francis of Assisi that describes the best way to practice your faith in college, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” God Bless.