It’s that time of year again, and it seems to roll around with increasing regularity and speed. High school graduates are packing up, loading up and heading out for the next chapter in life. Students and their parents are preparing by purchasing dorm room essentials (if they are living on campus), attending orientation sessions and making sure the finances are in order.
Psychologists tell us that one of the greatest times of change in a person’s life are the six months between high school graduation and Christmas—in other words, the first few months of their college experience.
Navigating those first few weeks and months of college can be an exhilarating, exciting and often challenging experience.
It is a long-standing truth that the friends, patterns, and habits that a student makes in the first three weeks they are on campus may determine (or undermine) their entire college career.
We also know that seven out of 10 high school seniors active in their church youth ministry have little or no spiritual connection while in college.
Other studies tell us that students who are active in campus organizations feel more connected, perform better academically and are generally happier during their college years.
Given those facts, here are some ways parents, youth ministers, and pastors can help:
- Make sure your student connects with Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) on their campus.
- Check out bcmlink.org/bcm for information on your campus.
- Make sure your student connects with a local Baptist church during those first weeks on campus.
- Give your student “permission” to not come home that first weekend on campus and find a church close to their campus or be a part of a BCM weekend retreat designed to include and welcome them.
- Pray for them and enlist others to pray for students on college campuses across Alabama.
- Pray for campus and church ministers on the college campus mission field.
For more information on BCM, church ministry to college students or helping students transition to college, please contact State Missionary Mike Nuss at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 276, or (334) 613-2276,