Determined to reverse 'faith abandonment' trend in college

Thursday, August 13, 2020
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

student in library

College gospel movements are being mobilized with the goal to significantly reduce the 70% of Christian students who abandon their faith while attending college.

Campus Renewal has partnered with U.S. college ministries, Christian schools, denominations and youth ministries to launch the “Every Student Sent” platform that focuses on vulnerable freshmen during their first weeks on unfamiliar – and often intimidating – secular college campuses.

This new movement is geared toward solving the many problems that young believers face.  For example, ministries have reported that it's during this transition period when Christian beliefs are aggressively challenged by other students, professors and administers alike - making it crucial that the multi-front attack on Christian students’ faith is addressed. In addition, this is a critical time when non-believing students are most open to the gospel … and open to different worldviews.

Opportune, yet challenging times to spread the Word

As socialism and anarchy continue to spread across America and onto liberal campuses amidst the pandemic, it can be a tricky, yet opportune time to spread the gospel.

“The key is to mobilize incoming Christian students who are prepared missionally, and connected with ministries and Christian friends in advance,” Campus Renewal stresses in its recent press release. “However, this is especially challenging during the pandemic, when campuses are a mix of physical and virtual experiences.”

Campus Renewal president Jeremy Story explains that his Christian group has enhanced its Campus Ministry Link, Every Student Sent, to better meet current needs as a free missional and socially interactive platform.

"Now in one platform, a student can socially connect with ministries, churches and students at nearly every university so that they have a missional community of friends and mentors long before they arrive on campus," Story shares.

The platform also provides discipleship training tools and video courses that parents, youth pastors and school administrators can use to track students' progress.

Some of America’s most prominent college ministries, including Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ), Navigators and Intervarsity, have teamed up in this project that is geared to connect every Christian student from coast to coast. Christian school associations, churches, high school ministries, homeschools and denominations such as Southern Baptists and Assemblies of God have joined the concerted effort as well.

"Some of the largest Christian high schools in the nation are starting to use Every Student Sent and its resources in the college planning process to help students find the right career, major and calling, identify colleges with good ministries, and learn how to engage culture on secular campuses," partnership director John Decker points out.

Specific goals are being targeted to bring Christ back into the forefront in college cultures that are striving to undermine Christianity.

“Every Student Sent aims to double the number of students who continue to pursue their faith throughout their college experience, [and] the tools provided to students will equip them to disciple non-Christian students virtually and/or on location,” Campus Renewal explains.

“Another primary goal is to produce Christian graduates who will saturate the business community with their faith-based leadership where cultural change is needed in our local communities, [while] business ministries such as Pinnacle Forum are collaborating on the transition to the workplace, and have already pioneered an on-campus group.”

Even though Christians are typically in the minority on today’s college campus, Jeremy Story says students who are grounded in the Bible can still make a huge difference.

"The harvest is plentiful on campuses and the laborers have been too few,” he asserts. “Sending out more college graduates throughout our society as influencers for Christ is critical, and Every Student Sent will be a significant part of this."

The site allows Christians to network and branch out to others who would ordinarily be beyond their realm of influence. Churches and schools can easily upload all their students – and local ministries and churches that serve university campuses can list their organization's information for free on the website.

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