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.
First, as we were walking down the streets and as we visited various federal buildings it was interesting that everywhere I looked there were Bible verses, Biblical principles, and references to God etched in the granite, stone or marble.
- “In God we trust” is displayed in both the House and Senate chambers.
- “America! God shed His grace on thee” is inscribed in a corridor of the Capitol building.
- The Ten Commandments is in bronze on the floor of the National Archives where the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence are kept.
- There is a bronze statue of Moses in the main reading room of the Library of Congress.
- The Washington Monument has verses and phrases carved on memorial blocks in the walls; things like “Holiness to the Lord” and “Search the Scriptures.”
- There is a Latin inscription engraved on the Washington Monument capstone that translates to “Praise be to God.”
- The Jefferson Memorial has Jefferson’s own words carved that begins with “God who gave us life gave us liberty.”
- On the left side of the Lincoln Memorial is his Second Inaugural address that reads more like a sermon than a speech.
It is blatantly obvious that our nation was established on Godly principles and unless they intend to take a jackhammer or sand blaster to these buildings or completely tear them down, that fact cannot be denied.
Secondly, we visited the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and in every exhibit, on nearly every display, it talked about the age of things as billions or millions of years old. They explained how some big explosion created the earth, how an asteroid destroyed the dinosaurs and there is even an “Evolution Theater” where you can see and hear how we all came from some ooze. What hit me was the fact that these things were not being spoken of as theory but as absolute fact. This is a National institution run by one of the most respected organizations in our country, the Smithsonian. (See their website: "Broader Social Impacts Committee of the Smithsonian" which addresses the conflict between science and religion as they see it.) I looked around at the variety of school groups on field trips and my thought was “Who’s going to tell them the truth?” Thousands of school age children are being exposed to this every year and believing it to be fact. I wanted to run to each one and say “That’s not true. Here’s what the Bible says.” (See resource for a Biblical explanation of the origin of man..."The Human Race" -Note: this website is not associated with New Covenant Academy and is being used solely as a resource.)
I came back with a greater appreciation for the work we are doing here at New Covenant but also a more intense conviction to make sure our students know and understand the truth according to God’s word. Our duty to prepare our children for the lies they will see and hear is critical if they are going to take a solid faith into their adult lives. I have always known the importance of Christian education but now have a deeper urgency to reach more and more students with the truth and point them to the Bible when they are faced with “facts” that are really only theories.