creating space for class-encouraged faith crises

I mentioned in the last post that I’m teaching on Job this weekend. One of the reasons I’ve been captivated by that book for awhile is that in college, one of my professors noted that the Book of Job presents the best answer to the Problem of Evil that he knew. I didn’t have any other evidence that this prof was a believer (or Jewish), so his respect for Job resonated all the more.

But at Texas A&M, there were other times that professors would challenge my Christian faith. That’s the story at lots of schools – nearly all, I’d say, that aren’t explicitly “Christian” (and sometimes even at those colleges, too). And these kinds of “faith crises” for students don’t just arise when professors are purposefully anti-faith; they may arise just as students’ faith foundations are challenged by what they learn about other religions, about science, about famous people who didn’t believe in God, or other collegiate learnings.

What if we college ministers created purposeful space for students to bring those kinds of questions directly to each other and to us? This might be a “Comment Box”-style chance to share their questions, it might be a weekly “Good Questions” small group, or just a regular encouragement to send you an email.

The purpose of this isn’t just to help students find answers. Publicizing this opportunity ALSO (and even more importantly) helps advertise that there are answers out there. It helps students realize they aren’t alone, too – that if they’re facing a faith crisis because of a college class, they’re not facing anything that other Christian students haven’t faced.

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