Does your church have a plan for college students?

February 4, 2021
Do you have a plan for engaging college students? 
 
You may have a Sunday School class or small group for college students, but what is your overall plan for college students that acknowledges the totality of this phase of their lives and involves the whole church?
 
Do you have a plan to help guide them through the important phases that encompass the college years? Have you thought deeply about what the coronavirus pandemic has shown us about the fragmented and fast-changing idea of what college education looks like?
 
These are questions your church should consider when developing a college student plan. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Collegiate Partnerships team defines a college student plan as “a church’s intentional and comprehensive plan for interacting with college students. The goal of a college student plan is to create healthy, mature disciples out of college students.”

The goal of a college student plan is to create healthy, mature disciples out of college students.

Here are at least three phases of the plan that are crucial for college students.

Transition from high school to college
Helping students prepare for the challenges they will face in college is an important first step in crafting a college student plan. What is your church doing to help high school seniors transition to college? Do you have special curriculum that deals with issues they will face, such as roommates, finding a church and ongoing spiritual growth? What do you do to help parents prepare their children for college?

Disciple-making during college
How will you disciple the college students at your church, and do you have a plan to reach more students in your area? Do you see college students as missionaries to the college campus and their community of peers? Do you have pathways of leadership for them in your church, or do you see college ministry as more of a niche ministry that exists in a silo? Do you have intergenerational mentors who can help them grow as disciples?

Transition from college to the workforce
How do we prepare students for life after college? In “Faith for Exiles,” Barna Research shows that helping younger Christians understand their vocational calling is an important aspect of what makes a “resilient disciple.” How do we help the vast majority of college students who will not go into “vocational ministry” see their work as important to God and His kingdom? How does the church help empower them as who they are in their talents and strengths? Does your church have a curriculum discussing “calling” and a way to connect students with Christians in various fields of work?

These are examples of the questions that churches should be thinking about to prepare a college student plan. The Collegiate Partnerships team is here to help. If you would like assistance in developing a college student plan or have further questions about aspects of the plan, please contact us for a meeting.


Tom Knight
Collegiate Partnerships  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

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