Does College Make It Too Challenging to Be Lutheran?

By Monica Berndt

College campuses and Christianity are not two words I would put together very often. With our society increasingly moving towards ‘post-truth’ where no one can state objective truths, Christians are often left out of the conversation. This is especially true on college campuses across the country. But, thinking that there is no such thing as truth undermines everything we believe as Lutherans. It can be frustrating to attempt conversation with someone who does not respect your point of view. It can also be difficult to find other Christians who can help balance out this thinking. However, there are still ways to remain a Confessional Lutheran on campus and not feel overwhelmed.

  1. Find a church where Christ is preached and the Sacraments properly administered. This is perhaps the single most important thing you can do while in school. Nothing else can replace physically sitting in church, hearing the Word preached, and receiving God’s forgiveness through the sacraments every single Sunday morning. Church is one of God’s greatest gifts to His people. He gives it precisely because He knows we need that time to focus on the Word. No matter what you faced during the week, whether it’s midterms, or homesickness, or difficulties with friends, Jesus is there specifically for us every Sunday offering forgiveness and grace "for you"!
  2. Make some friends at this new church. Befriend the couple who sits in front of you, or the other college kids at the church. Not only will you have someone to talk to on Sunday mornings, you’ll also have someone who will hold you accountable to coming every week. You will also get the chance to talk about struggles or grievances with someone who shares your worldview. Hopefully, you can meet someone who understands the struggles of living as a Christian on campus and who can help you if things become difficult.
  3. Read/ listen to some good theology. Don’t let the mountain of required reading drown out your need to read the Bible, Book of Concord, and Lutheran theology. If you prefer podcasts, find one and try to listen once or twice a week. Consistently exposing yourself to theology will help counterbalance the wave of progressive ideology that you will encounter on college campuses, and will also help you approach issues or discussions that come up in your day to day activities.

In one way or another, college is tough and there’s no easy way around that. However, no matter what happens you will always have the promises and the grace of Jesus Christ available to you through His Word and Sacraments. They will always be there- given for you.

Monica Berndt attends the University of Washington in Seattle where she studies history and music education.

Created: February 27th, 2017