Few life experiences approach the emotional intensity of a child’s transition out of your home and away to college. We understand how much you want to see your child survive, and even thrive, spiritually as he or she passes through this milestone.
It’s true your child will face some very real challenges in their transition. They will navigate through loneliness, newfound freedom, academic stress, social pressure, and the natural human inclination to try new things. They will encounter new temptations in the arenas of sex and alcohol.
On secular colleges, it’s very likely they’ll hear a professor challenge the authority of the Bible. In order to withstand these spiritual dangers, it’s imperative that your child gets connected to a Christian community at their new school. We’re here to help with that.
Your child is heading out on an exciting journey, but they’ll be making the journey without you. How can you advocate for them as they head out and you stay behind? There are at least 4 key things you can do in the last 6 months leading up to the day you drop your child off at college.
1. Spend time together. Grab as much time as you can with your child before they head to college. Have lots of fun together and build memories that you and your child will look back on for years to come.
2. Express to them the importance of college community. Along with parental counsel on choosing a major, and tips on how to do laundry in a dorm, let the greatest concern you express to your child center on finding a place of like-minded others for encouragement, support, and a sense of belonging in their new environment.
Help your child locate Christian ministries on their new college campus through the school website. Here's how:
Then help them narrow the list down to three Christian communities on campus. Help them locate a contact person to reach out to later in the summer for the details on Freshmen welcome events and other first week events each ministry will be hosting. Offer encouragement that if your child connects with any of these groups in the fall, or better still, over the summer, they’ll be headed towards spiritual success.
3. Pray. Pray often with your child and for your child. Ask God to give them (and you) confident trust that he will direct them in this new chapter of life and provide a caring community for them to connect with at college.
4. Relax. God is in control and any anxiety we carry can be picked up by our kids. They need our steady confidence in God for them as they make this big transition.
What is Cru?
Cru is a caring community, passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ. For over 60 years, we have been a ministry on college campuses around the world helping students come to know Jesus, grow in their faith, and then go to the world around them sharing God’s love with others.
Will my child fit in with Cru if they grew up in the Christian faith but aren’t following Jesus right now?
Cru is a safe place for students to explore their faith no matter what spiritual background they are from. Often Cru at a college is made up of students who are committed to following Jesus, students who are exploring what it means to follow Jesus, and students who have no background with Jesus or Christianity. All students are welcome.
How can my child find a church at their new college? Does Cru help with that?
We believe it is vital for college students to be connected to a local church. For purely practical reasons, we suggest finding an on-campus ministry first and view it as a base. Through that base ministry, your child can get church suggestions from older students and ministry leaders who are already plugged in to different local churches. Often older students can help coordinate rides and accompany new students to church when they first visit. At the beginning of the school year, many Cru groups will also announce church options at their meetings and on social media to help new students get quickly established at a church.
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