Eight Reflections from the 2017-18 Campus Ministry Survey
1. Students share their faith with their peers. According to the survey, 91% of students have shared their faith with a peer this 2017-18 academic year. The greatest fear for students sharing their faith was “they didn’t want to push their beliefs on others,” representing 33% of all responses. For engaged Christians evangelism was the third most popular theological issue, behind discipleship and prayer.
2. Issues of relationship, connection, and sexuality are of interest to students. Marriage and dating were among the top five most cared about cultural issues. For engaged Christians, the cultural issues that students cared most about were marriage and pornography.
3. Abortion was the top cultural issue by both all respondents and engaged Christians. Engaged Christians selected “strongly disagree” or “disagree” with the statement, “abortion should be legal” with a frequency of 71%. That figure goes down to 49% for other respondents.
4. Students hold a high value for women in church leadership. 63% of engaged Christians selected “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement, “women can hold any position in church leadership,” which increased to 79% for other respondents.
5. Prayer was the second most represented theological issue for all respondents and engaged Christians. Those classified as other respondents selected prayer (64%) as the issue they care most about.
6. Students have a high view of scripture with 85% of all respondents indicating one of the following: (1) The Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally, word for word, and (2) the Bible is the inspired Word of God and has no errors, although some verses are meant to be symbolic rather than literal. A total of 63% of all respondents indicated that they read the Bible each day without fail or they read the Bible several times a week.
7. Church attendance is a regular habit for students who participated in the survey, with 89% of all respondents attending church at least once in the last month and 63% of students attending church three or more times in the last month. Participants indicated 64 different places of worship.
8. Approximately 85% of students involved with campus ministry organizations indicated that they began their faith journey before college. Only 11% of students stated that they started their faith journey during their undergraduate years. Students in this survey self-identified mostly as evangelical (110 responses), Lutheran (80 responses), Catholic (70 responses), and Protestant (59 responses) backgrounds.
all respondents = 408 students that participated in the campus ministry survey
engaged Christians = (1) students who believe that the Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally, word for word, or that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and has no errors, although some verses are meant to be symbolic rather than literal; (2) students who read the Bible each day without fail, or they read the Bible several times a week; (3) students who have attended church three or more times in the last month; and (4) students who openly shared their faith this academic year.
other respondents = survey participants who did not meet the engaged Christian definition