Q. I've wanted to go to a Christian college for a real long time because I thought it would help me grow in my faith. But this friend of mine went off to a Christian college last year and now she's really struggling with her beliefs. The thing is, she was a strong Christian before she went to college! How can this be? I'm beginning to wonder if I should even go to college at all! I sure don't want to lose my faith!
A. Struggling with our beliefs happens to many of us at one time or another and does not necessarily lead to losing one's faith. The college is probably not the cause of your friend's struggles. People can stumble anywhere. Your concerns may arise from choices your friend is making while she struggles—choices which move her away from God rather than keep her in conversation with him.
God isn't threatened by our hard questions. And when it comes to wrestling with those questions, I can't think of a better place to be than at a Christian college. There you are surrounded by professors and staff who can hear your heart and help you deal with issues from a biblical base. College is a good time to ask questions, seek answers and come to a faith that is reasoned and sure of itself.
In college you will become a different person, probably more mature and wise, with the potential for your beliefs to be strengthened and deepened. As you struggle with your beliefs in a Christian environment, you can expect to eventually reach new levels of understanding and joy as you grow in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe you could ask a friend to be like Epaphras was for the church at Colosse, someone who would be "always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in the will of God, mature and fully assured" (Colossians 4:12). I pray that you'll not only "keep the faith" but grow greatly wherever the future leads!
Judy Moseman served as Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students at Bethel University (MN).