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Good Transitions from High School to College- Staying Connected

February 01, 2017
By Mr. Mark Sadaka, M.Div. in Pastoral Studies

Making Good Transitions

From High School to College

Saying Connected to the Body of Christ

 

The vision and mission of New Covenant Academy is to prepare students to academically and spiritually succeed in a post-secondary world. In order to accomplish such a goal, the high school Bible department has begun focusing on students’ college transitions. Statistics have shown that between 40-60% of Christian students who go on to college become inactive in their faith during those years. Moreover, 33% of those who become inactive in their Christian faith are shown to never dawn the door of a church again. This problem of inactive faith during a graduate’s college years can be seen in the following scenario for most Christian students.

Traditional preparations for college often includes:

Parents, churches, and schools prepare to send their student off to college. In doing so, the student is put through rigorous college preparation courses in school, becomes part of extra-curricular activities to promote his or her diversity, and is put through college planning seminars. Colleges are then examined and visited. Degree options, major and minors, are laid out and chosen. Applications for financial aid and scholarships are sent filled out and sent off. Everything is now set-up and planned out. The student knows where they want to attend, what degree he or she wants, and how to pay for it.

From all the research I have conducted, this is the typical scenario for both Christian and non-Christian students. So, what is the difference between the Christian and non-Christian scenario? Nothing! That is the problem. At what point are Christian parents, teachers, mentors, or pastors going to respond, “Great job planning for college! Now where do you plan on going to church? What churches did you visit while visiting college campuses? How do you  plan on growing spiritually while you are growing academically?” This is what New Covenant Academy is now doing different.

What NCA Bible Department is doing to reduce the church attrition rate

Unlike the multitude of Christian schools around the country that I have contacted during my research, New Covenant Academy has begun focusing on this college transition as a fulfillment of its vision and mission statements. During Bible class, students are given the research assignment to locate churches in the area of their choice colleges and look up campus ministries as found on each campus. Contact with pastors and campus ministers is made through email or by phone. A spiritual plan is developed by each senior to help students to be proactive when they reach their college campus rather than reactive. College campus ministers are asked to attend classes for a time of Q&A to help them navigate the uncharted waters of the freshman college campus. The hopes of such a curriculum adjustment is to drastically reduce the 40-60% church attrition rate to something much lower.

 

Mark Sadaka

High School Bible Instructor
New Covenant Academy, Springfield, MO
B.A. in Biblical Studies from Central Bible College,
M.A.R. in Biblical Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
M.Div. in Pastoral Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
D.Min. (Candidate) in Leadership from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Dissertation Title: A Spiritual Transition Strategy for High School Seniors to Remain Active in Church After Graduating from New Covenant Academy.