Is College For Me? || Kristen Moore
A Brief Personal Testimony
Like all very good parents, my parents emphasized the importance of education while I was growing up.
Thankfully, they also instilled in me that nothing was more important than my soul and my walk with God. When I was 18 and freshly graduated from high school I had a partial scholarship to a local private Christian university. I stayed home and commuted to keep the costs down, which turned out to be extremely helpful in keeping me accountable. Even I knew at age 18 that I was too young and immature to be in such an unsupervised environment. I was a “good kid,” but that didn’t mean I could not and would not be influenced by others.
I only attended that university for one year. During that one year – at a Christian university – I was introduced to the world of liberal Christianity. I was required as part of the core curriculum to take a class in which the professor systematically picked apart every miracle of the Old Testament, proclaiming them as false.
The Bible was taught as myth and folklore instead of inerrant, divinely inspired Truth. My professors didn’t claim to be atheists-but they might as well have been. I was overwhelmed and underprepared.
My world was rocked and over the next three years I wrestled fearfully with my faith. During the following two years I attended a local community college, taking basic classes and changing my major multiple times before finally taking a year off to work and re-evaluate my plans for the future. I finally reached a stable place in my walk with God thanks to the prayers and support of my parents and my church; but, I still had so many questions. I avoided asking them out of fear.
When I was 22, God called me to attend Indiana Bible College and I’m forever grateful that He did. I learned (among many other valuable things) that there were answers to my questions-even the really hard ones. It was like drinking a tall glass of water after spending a day working in the hot sun.
Is College Right For Me?
Most of my generation grew up thinking that college was inevitable and necessary. It was drilled into us from childhood. Graduate high school, graduate college, get a good job. That was the formula for success. This approach worked for many of our parents and so it seemed to be the sensible thing to teach us. Or, perhaps some parents didn’t go to college and struggled financially and they wanted a better life for their children. Regardless of the reason, I believe our parents were absolutely well-meaning.
The problem is that between their generation and ours and huge shift occurred in colleges and universities that is still continuing and spiraling out of control even today. A university experience used to be about learning a skill or becoming knowledgeable in a field so you could get a high-paying job in that field. Today, the university experience is about reprogramming you. From day one your Christian values are ridiculed, discredited and militantly opposed. The “party lifestyle” is essentially inescapable if you live on campus. Destructive leftist ideologies are taught as the only “truth” even though the concept of absolute Truth is shouted down at every opportunity. Young people are expected to have an “open mind” regarding any and every lifestyle except for a Christian life of purity and morality. On top of all of this, tuition rates continue to rise and many students take on monumental amounts of debt which they are unable to pay for upon graduation.
These are all serious problems, but none of them compare to the fact that 75%-90% of Christian teens entering college will no longer consider themselves Christians upon graduation.
That statistic alone makes me wonder why Christian parents are still so adamant about kicking their impressionable kids out the door at age 18.
So What Can We Do?
You may be surprised to discover that I’m not anti-college or university. I believe that this world needs more Apostolic Christians in business, the sciences, in law, in schools and in government. There are some steps that young people and their parents can and should take to approach the decision of college more carefully.
Decide if college really is for you.
A four-year secular university may be a good fit for some but it is not right for everyone. There are plenty of people with a skill or trade that enables them to be well established financially without having to go to college. Some very wealthy, intelligent people either never went to college or dropped out. Don’t rule out trade school or some sort of certification that requires only one or two years of school. For me and many others, Bible College proved to be the right move. Many successful entrepreneurs started businesses that had nothing to do with the college degree they obtained. There are multiple paths to financial stability and there is absolutely no shame in choosing a career that does not require a four-year degree. Research your desired field of study. Pray and seek direction from the Lord. Seek godly counsel. Doing these things will help you to decide whether or not a degree is something worth pursuing.
Don’t be in such a rush.
Some people know exactly what career they want to pursue. I admire those people. I was not one of them. If you know for certain that you want to be a pediatrician or an art teacher-go for it! If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, an expensive four-year university is simply not wise straight out of high school. Take a year or two to work and save some money while you decide exactly what to do. Or, take some general education classes at a local community college, paying as you go. It’s much less expensive to experiment with different interests and swap majors at a community college than at a university.
Live at home.
When you’re 18 and you’re seemingly inches away from adulthood and independence, living at home with your parents for another two to four years can seem unexciting. However, it could mean the difference between you backsliding or surviving and thriving as a Christian. Everyone needs accountability. It’s a dangerous lie from Hell that once you reach adulthood you are no longer accountable to anyone. While it is true that you will encounter more freedoms as you get older, they will come with more responsibilities.
You will never outgrow the need for accountability and submission to authority.
In my own personal observation, most Christian young people who move onto a college campus, whether local or far from home, do not remain true to their Apostolic faith. In contrast, almost every Apostolic Christian that I know that has graduated from college in recent years and remained Apostolic, lived at home while attending college.
Pray and Read.
Even if you decide to attend college and you live at home, you will still be exposed to ideologies and attacks against your faith. You must have a prayer life and you must read. Read the Bible. Read books that will help you understand the attacks being made on your faith. Read books that will help you understand where these attacks are coming from and why they are being made. Read books that will help you to counter them both in your own mind and in discussion with professors and fellow students-which brings us to our final point…
Attend Your University as a Missionary.
Walk onto your college campus with purpose. Join your local CMI group or start one if there isn’t one already on your campus. View your school as a mission field and yourself as the missionary. You and God are there as a team. Rely on His help and direction. Link up with other Apostolic young people if there are any. Encourage each other, pray with each other and hold each other accountable.
If you are a high school student or young adult in this phase of your life, know that God sees exactly where you are. It can be a confusing, stressful time. Proceed with caution, but don’t let fear paralyze you. Whatever you decide, do it with prayer, fasting and a host of wise counsel. God will be with you in the process.
For more information on starting a campus ministry or connecting to an existing campus ministry visit the CMI website.
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