Tag Archives: college

Faith Under Fire – The New Academic Year at Christian and Secular Colleges – 08/31/23

“Faith Under Fire”

A new academic year begins, and the president of a Christian university in the Family Life listening area offers insights into a trend he sees: some students are moving away from traditional colleges whose curricula, faculty and motivations differ from what some families see as their own academic and social priorities. Houghton University‘s President Wayne Lewis says the 24-hour news cycle and the reach of social media has given young people and their parents more information about how students are accepted and supported in their college experience. Dr. Lewis says students should not feel ostracized if they hold positions which differ from those of their professors. At his school, he says administrators strive to assure that students feel welcome at a Biblically-centered university, wherever that student may be on the conservative-moderate-liberal spectrum.

Also in this conversation with news producer Greg Gillispie, the president offers a bright and optimistic picture of today’s college students — and the energy and faith of young Christian adults.

You can hear (or download) our previous interview on similar topics with President Lewis last semester on our News Podcasts page.

Dr. Wayne Lewis became president of Houghton University two years ago and is a strong spokesperson for the gospel and for Christian higher education. You can read his blog and hear other conversations with him here and here.

Inside Out – Secular campuses are open to faith – 02/22/23

Before heading off to university, Daniela Angulo was sure that her on-campus conversations about faith would require all the apologetics knowledge she’d ever learned.

“We saw secular college as a battlefield. That was what we expected,” she says. “We were expecting to go in with our weapons in hand.”  

What she found instead surprised her. Angulo, a student at Miami’s Florida International University, has written for The Gospel Coalition about the receptivity of her professors and classmates to learning what she, as a Christian, believes.   “I had classmates who, upon finding out I was a Christian, were more curious than anything else, and would ask me to have lunch with them,” she says.

She spends more time sharing her faith and less time defending it than she expected.

“While I still made sure to hold onto that foundation of apologetics that I needed, because I knew it would come in handy and there have been times where I have needed them, I also started approaching each class with a renewed excitement for the opportunity that God might give me to share the Gospel.”  

Her perspective today is quite different from her expectations. “At the end of the day it’s not a battlefield as much as it is an evangelistic ground of mission work,” she says. 

If your college search includes secular universities,  Angulo recommends three ways to prepare. “Know the Bible,” she says. “Whether it be a conversation, or defending your faith, you need to know what you believe. And so that foundation of just understanding what it is we believe and why is so important.”   

She also counsels that we view professors and fellow students as people God longs to be in relationship with. “Don’t view your secular classmates, your atheistic classmates, your  agnostic classmates, your liberal classmates—don’t view them as your enemies. View them as people who are lost and who we pray that God will reveal Himself to, and that  you will be able to be a tool for Him.” And lastly, pray for opportunities to talk about Jesus. God will give them.  “I started praying for that opportunity and it came,” she says. “The opportunity came.”

Read Daniela Angulo’s The Gospel Coalition article that inspired this podcast here.

Faith Under Fire – Dr. Wayne Lewis – Staying Faithful, as a Christian University – 02/16/23

Academic freedom and the Christian college experience

We explore higher education and how recent cultural movements shape the college experience for today’s students. Pennsylvania and New York have a number of universities founded as Christian outreaches, and those Christian colleges are facing those pressures as are secular schools.

Houghton Univ's sixth presidentTo get a snapshot of what is happening now, “Faith Under Fire” spoke with Dr. Wayne Lewis, president of Houghton University in New York’s Southern Tier. Dr. Lewis speaks about the uniqueness of being a Christ-centered institution, how schools can assure all voices are heard, and why it is important to assure that all students — from all sectors of the political/theological/social spectrum — feel at home on their campus and in their classrooms.

Tap here for further information: Dr. Lewis…   Houghton University