The professionals are in trouble and need outside help
All around us there is abundant evidence that religion is not doing well on the campus. We greatly need new approaches to campus work.
In the years since Sputnik, science and industry have made tremendous gains. Their increase of knowledge has been gigantic. Space exploration is moving rapidly. But what is happening in the areas of the mind and the spirit, and in the understanding of one another as persons? The humanities have suffered in our culture so much that universities now put on drives to stimulate interest in these areas.
Our religious heritage has been allowed to dwindle also. In the colleges, the Church has not kept pace in its manner of presentation. It is regarded as a second-or even third-class citizen on most campuses.
On the average, about 10 per cent of the students on an American campus have some contact with Christianity through the organized church. Ninety per cent of the students on most campuses have no such contact and look upon the church as a thing of the past. This group often contains the most exciting students on campus, the future leaders of our country.
American colleges and universities are being profoundly affected by the swift and complex changes taking place in our society. The world is in a ferment, and the campus reflects this. The university or college presents many different opportunities for Christian witness. There are the faculty, the students, and the families of faculty and students. And there are also employees of the university and their families. Obviously the Church needs different approaches to reach these various groups.
The students are probably the most complex group. They are of many nationalities, many different home backgrounds, ...1
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