Religious groups on campus spur students to deeper faith

Velvet Case

Religion Editor

Some MUW students seem to be bucking a national trend. Instead of leaving the church behind when entering college, many W students are growing deeper in their walks with God, thanks to the religious organizations on campus.

“I attend BSU (Baptist Student Union) on Thursdays,” shared Kayla Dearman, a speech pathology major. “It helps me continue to grow in my faith and remain strong in it since I have started college life. That has really helped me rely on God during all my stress.”

After high school is over, a young person might decide to leave his or her home to live on a college campus, away from family, community and a home church.

Students are often thrust into a life of new teachers, new peers, new classes and new surroundings. When a person’s life changes that much, sometimes it is easy for their beliefs and values to change as well. 

Because college is a time for filling the mind with book knowledge, many young people across the country focus on that, rather than focusing on God. Students are learning new information and putting as much time into studying these new concepts as possible.

Additionally, many colleges, especially community colleges, do not have chapels on campus. Thus, there is not a constant reminder of God for the students or a central location for worship.

Research by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA found that the number of students who frequently attend religious service drops by 23 percent after three years in college. Similar research showed that 36 percent rated their spirituality lower after three years of attending a university or college.   

However, the students at MUW are not following that pattern. Many students say they have gotten closer to God since starting college.

“I have been attending the Wesley Foundation since I’ve been here at the W,” said Mary Bullard, a speech pathology major. “To me, it is so important for a body of believers to meet together so that we can encourage one another and build each other up in love.”

The religious organizations on campus have reached out to students and given them a place to come for love, encouragement, truth and spiritual growth. Being in this type of atmosphere helps students.

“God no longer holds my sins against me. God has broken the chains of my guilt and shame and regret, and I cannot shut up about it,” expressed Bullard.

Students here are not just increasing their mental knowledge from their course studies, but many are also increasing their knowledge of God.

“I have become more religious since I began college,” stated Megan Vaughn, an elementary education major.

These students are making a powerful impact on campus and defying the world’s statistics.  Having even one religious organization accessible to students on campus makes a difference.

This boost in students’ faith in God would not be nearly as high without religious organizations such as Cross Culture, Chi Alpha, Baptist Student Union, the Wesley Foundation and others.