Do I need to go to church during college?
Discover why the local church is still important, even if you have a Christian community on campus
I am a junior at Biola University working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with an emphasis in Entertainment and Events! In my three years of being a student here, one of my biggest takeaways has been the importance of finding a church community while still in college.
One of my greatest joys is that the Bible is integrated into all that I do as a student at Biola, because it is a Christian university. However, it can be tempting to push church community down on my list of priorities because I am already so immersed in a Christian community while being at college.
If you don’t go to a Christian university, there may still be a vibrant Christian group on campus - and you should definitely get involved! But in this situation, too, you should never abandon the local church for your Christian community on campus.
Here is what I have discovered on the importance of pursuing a church home while at a Christian college:
College community is an arm of the church
While I may have many resources such as chapels and conferences that I can attend, these resources do not replace the purpose of the church body. My community at college is a “training ground” for my spiritual formation. Its purpose is to shape my heart and character as I prepare to leave college to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
The local church will always be the primary means by which God seeks to bring His diverse followers together to serve Him.
College isn’t forever!
After finishing your degree program, it will be time to step out into the working world. Your community spreads across the globe and you leave behind the resources such as theology professors, pastoral care counselors or Christian group leaders.
I have learned that these people are there to help shape us during our years in college, but sadly, we don’t get to take them with us once we graduate. Being plugged into a church allows still have a Christian community to call home even once we leave college.
You get so much more diversity outside of a college campus. Being involved in a church opens doors to different life groups, people groups, ages and stages that expand your horizon outside the college bubble. It will grow you beyond the limited horizons of college campuses.
Ultimately, I believe that it is important not to replace church with an on-campus Christian community - specifically if you find yourself at a Christian college. The two are distinct, and it is important to remember that! Christian colleges can equip you in many ways, but they are not the church. I encourage you to find a church that you can call home during your years as a college student. It is so healthy and soul-giving to have a community to fall back on, outside of your college community!
Written by Aubrey, a student from Biola University. Find out more about Biola today.