The contemporary upsurge of religious interest has engulfed also the campuses of North American colleges and universities. The favorable response to Billy Graham’s Christian messages by Yale University students has been narrated in a previous issue of Christianity Today. Evangelical campus missions sponsored by Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and other witnessing groups are enjoying similar results.
Not to be discounted in less sensational but steadily increasing student participation in denomination-centered worship programs—those of the Canterbury Club for Episcopalians, the Westminster Foundation for Presbyterians, the Lutheran Student Association and Gamma Delta for National Lutheran Council and Missouri Synod students respectively, and others. According to Time (November 21, 1955) the Rev. Frederic Kellogg of Cambridge, Mass., counted only about 35 Harvard students at the Sunday Episcopal services in 1936. Twenty years later 500 attended the Sunday worship. At Memorial Lutheran Chapel in Ames, Iowa, the Rev. Wilbert J. Fields sees more Iowa State College students at average Sunday services than he has names on his list.
The quickening spiritual pulse is sensed by many observers of the campus scene. “I’ve been in the dean’s office for more than 20 years,” says Nicholas McKnight, dean of students at Columbia College, “and never have I seen such a wide interest in religion among the students” (Time, November 21, 1955).
University authorities themselves have taken steps in recent years to give religion a favorable hearing. If not by administrative implementation, they at least give their blessing to such campus-wide observances as Religious Emphasis Week or Church Night during New Student Week. At increasing numbers of ...1
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