Updated on October 18, 2015
You Can Bring Your Faith To College
Religious college students have plenty of options. You’ve probably heard your parents express concern about the idea of you going to certain colleges, because they’re worried about you losing your faith. Colleges are stereotyped as being both liberal and secular. Plenty of people stereotype college professors themselves as radical Marxists who are hostile to the idea of faith. Some religious parents will insist that their children attend Christian colleges only because they’re worried about this sort of meeting of minds happening.
You should remember that liberal colleges do tend to emphasize religious tolerance as well. Many left-wing college students are going to be reluctant to debate religion because they are worried about offending people, often regardless of how they actually feel on the subject. You are unlikely to get roped into a discussion of the existence of God unless that’s what you want. Personally, I enjoy discussing these sorts of issues with my fellow classmates. I’m secure enough in my faith that classmates doing blatant atheist discussions isn’t going to make me feel uneasy. If I manage to win another soul for Christ, than it’s just another benefit to the situation. College students are still forming their own identities, so they are going to be more malleable when it comes to their religious beliefs. There’s a lot to be said for using your time in college to be able to spread the word and the good news.
If you’re interested in converting some of your fellow college students, it may actually be somewhat socially acceptable to do so in some circles. College is a great time to debate abstract ideas. Plenty of secular college students who don’t place a great deal of emphasis on faith, and maybe even declared atheists could be open to hearing your thoughts on your beliefs. I know that I’ve managed to get quite a lot of students at least thinking about these sorts of issues, and that effort would have been wasted at many other colleges. It is true that you need to avoid overdoing it or you’re not going to be especially popular on campus. However, I have found that explicit discussions of faith are often socially acceptable in an environment where everyone likes to discuss complex and abstract issues as often as they can.
You don’t have to worry about encountering professors such as those featured in movies like God’s Not Dead. Real college professors would never ask you to declare that you don’t believe in God. You might get into some theistic discussions in college classes, but these will always be discussions and not declarations of anything. You might meet some openly atheistic professors, but they are going to be subtle about their religious beliefs or lack thereof in front of their students. People might debate you, but no one is going to attack you. If they do, they’re the ones who are going to get in trouble.
If you’re going to a secular university, you can still practice your faith just fine. These schools go out of their way to make sure that many major religions have groups on campus. You should be able to find a local Christian group on campus, and you will be able to meet all sorts of other people of faith when you are actually there. Many colleges are going to have local churches as well, and you should be able to attend local services together as a group.
If you’ve been a member of a children’s Christian group or a youth group, you should more or less know what to expect from these sorts of organizations. It is also true that you will be able to enjoy them when you are actually in college taking part in everything. Your worship certainly doesn’t have to take a backseat to your studies or your time in college. You can integrate your Christianity into your life as a college student.