Many parents worry that their teen will “fall away” from the faith when going off to college. This is a legitimate fear as many students stop attending church and move to a more secular lifestyle while in college; however, this does not need to happen. I feel that many of the students who drop out of church at college have never really taken on the faith for themselves, and when confronted with anti-Christian professors and new friends, they do not have the ammunition they need to with stand the assault. As Christian parents, we can help them by preparing them for what they will find on the college campus.
One of the main things needed is a solid Christian worldview. This encompasses much more than just having a few pat answers to questions, since it involves applying Christianity to all of life. There are many great studies that can be done and more are coming out each year. Josh McDowell wrote “A Ready Defense” that is good reading for anyone interested in the subject of defending his faith. What we used was “How Now Shall We Live?” by Chuck Colson and Nancy Pearcey. There is a discussion guide that goes with the book that gives some helps in using the book. It took us the better part of a year to read through the book and discuss what was covered, and we had some marvelous discussions while reading the book together. I would recommend that the book not be done too early, as generally a child will not be dealing with a lot of the issues covered in the book until they are 17 or 18 years old. Nancy Pearcey has a book coming out soon that will be a sequel to this book and should be very good.
If you want something to begin with younger students, we found “Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door” by Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler to be a great choice. Both of our girls enjoyed this devotional approach, and felt it gave them a good basis in the area of worldviews for junior high and early high school students.
We offer a section in the homeschool2college that deals with this area. It is the section called, “Big Changes”, and we address some of the issues that your student will face at college. Be sure to check that page of our site for more information.