Somewhere between 60% and 80% of high school students will leave their faith in college. Depending on where you live and who is doing the research. That is a LOT of students leaving their faith. Unfortunately it hasn’t changed much over the past decade. I remember hearing the same statistic quoted to me when I was leaving high school in 1998. The question I want to tackle is why do so many students they leave?
I remember hearing that statistic over and over again as I finished my senior year in high school. I remember that I was determined not to be one of those people who left the faith as they went to college. So when I showed up at North Dakota State University as a Freshmen I went looking for the Christian fellowships on my campus. I got involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for two reasons. One was that they played Ultimate Frisbee on the field behind my dorm. The second was that the first three meetings I attended the dean of the college of engineering and architecture was speaking and he gave a phenomenal defense of the faith. I loved it!
As a campus pastor I help college students move into the dorms every fall. I meet hundreds of students and their parents. As I move students into the dorms I always do an informal survey. I ask the student if they have a religious or church background. Working in a rural MN setting I have found that roughly 60%-70% of the students say yes. While the number has declined over the years, it is still high. I used to get excited about how many said yes. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to translate to involvement in fellowship on campus. So what happens? Read more