50% of students lose their faith after four years of college1. Common sense tells you that if your child is already struggling to make good decisions in high school, it is highly probable that their decisions will become worse in college. They are also at high risk to disavow their faith by the time they graduate. The inability of church and family-based discipleship to change behavior and build a resilient foundation of faith leaves college freshmen at the mercy of a worldly and virtually rule-less environment with no accountability or incentive to strengthen moral resolve.
If you are hoping that your student will find a Christian college professor, remember that 96% of college professors don’t believe that the Bible is the word of God and 51% say that it is a “book of fables”2. That leaves you counting on your child to connect with some college ministry. The truth about campus ministries is that they are unsuccessful in engaging any significant percentage of professing Christian freshmen and have no better impact than the church in changing behavior. No, this problem needs to be addressed directly and done so before your student leaves home and is away from parental and church guidance.
From our perspective in providing Biblical counseling to young adults, it’s clear that the best efforts of Christian youth groups, church programs, and discipleship-minded parents is not always enough. Young adults who are acting out through rebellion, sexual activity, self-harm and substance abuse are usually struggling with anger, low self-worth, depression, anxiety, and fear. These root causes of their self-destructive behavior cannot be resolved through traditional means. Therapeutic discipleship in the form of Biblical counseling is the most effective way to resolve the root causes of negative emotions and the resulting harmful behavior.
Biblical counseling as we uniquely define it at Rock House Center is in effect “therapeutic discipleship”. With this approach a person is simultaneously strengthening and advancing their Christian faith while resolving the motivators of unwanted behaviors. College freshmen with a firm foundation of faith who are free of negative emotions and grounded in their Christian identity have the best chance to succeed in college and in life.
1 University of Destruction. David Wheaton, (2005)
2How Religious are America’s College and University Professors? Neil Gross, Solon Simmons (2006)