Tag Archive for Transition

Why do students leave their faith

University StudentsSomewhere 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