CHRISTIANITY TODAY asked scores of professors on secular campuses from California to Connecticut about the mood and mentality of the United States collegian: What are his ambitions and high hopes, his fears and frustrations, his commitments and conpromises? And to these same professors, in all instances faculty members of devout evangelical persuasion, CHRISTIANITY TODAY addressed a second question: What approach constitutes the best means of confronting the college student with the Gospel?—ED.

Today’s students are more serious than their counterparts of a decade ago—less interested in football and other “collegiate jazz.” Yet they are still game to “try anything once, if it’s not too much effort,” and not a few would “rather make a record piling people into a telephone booth or drinking large amounts,” reports a director of women’s counseling at a midwestern campus, “than make A’s or keep virginity or run a mile.” The liberals are “trying desperately” to shake off all authoritarianism—and to test requirements just for the sake of testing, comments an Ohio educator; they despise as antiquated such ideas as respect for parents, classroom decorum, and politeness among themselves. The conservative students, on the other hand, are willing to listen, somewhat eager to learn, and not in rebellion against society. On one Florida campus several thousand students turned out for a television personality, while a dozen or so attended a lecture by an outstanding theologian.

THEY ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS

Students differ from each other in almost every conceivable manner, for they are all individuals. Yet a few types seem to predominate. There is: (1) the confident, aggressive follower of Karl Marx who holds rigidly to materialistic determinism; ...

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