Just because you’re a Christian, it doesn’t mean you’re required to attend a Christian college.
There is one key thing that can keep you in check with your faith while going to a university that lacks religious affiliation, and that is building a strong sense of community with others who share your beliefs.
Many campuses have various Christian organizations for students. Groups like InterVarsity (IV), Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), and Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) are just a few popular examples that have branches at many public universities. Getting involved with groups like these instantly put you in a community with people who also share the similar interest of religious faith. Not only are you improving yourself spiritually by doing this, but you are also making your college campus smaller by finding a niche (and this can be so beneficial if you’re on a bigger campus!).
When I was a freshman, I also wanted to find a church in the Chapel Hill area to continue to strengthen my faith. I was so excited to find The Summit Church in Durham, NC—the worship experience and the preacher’s messages really resonated with me. It was easy for me to get plugged in here since I was able to find peers to carpool to services with on the church’s website. Through this experience I met one of my closest friends and for that I am so grateful. Getting plugged into a church will not only provide consistency for your faith, but it will also give you a broader sense of community since you will be interacting with people of all ages instead of just college-aged peers in an on campus’ Christian organization.
Building a sense of community with other people who share your faith is critical in maintaining your religious beliefs while going through college. This can include getting involved in a Bible study or even just meeting up with a friend regularly to pray.
Attending a secular university doesn’t need to be something scary that tears you away from your faith—embrace the challenges that God puts before you in this setting. Don’t be afraid about branching out and finding your place in the Christian population on a secular campus. Find a friend and explore different churches and try out different on campus Christian organizations—after doing this, you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for you that will help you maintain your faith throughout your collegiate career.