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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.