What are their social attitudes, their goals, and their vision for the church?

Many stories are told of how multitudes of Christian students came to choose to attend a Christian college. Some chose it for the academics, some to escape from the sinful world; others made the choice because that was where their parents studied.

Seeking to develop a profile of the Christian college student, the Association of Evangelical Students (an affiliate of the National Association of Evangelicals) talked with students and administrators and surveyed students at several Christian colleges; some of the results are shown in the accompanying graphs.

According to the survey, students attend Christian colleges primarily because the colleges are Christian (see fig. 1). Whether the students sensed God’s leading or wanted to grow as Christians, they clearly wanted more than just a college education. Christian distinctives were a major part of their decision. Other reasons show generally why students chose one particular college over another.

Asked about college programs, some 30 percent said they had transferred from other colleges, mostly secular, and about 10 percent said they planned to leave their present college to attend another. Most of these students were less than 200 miles away from home and fairly evenly distributed among urban, suburban, and rural areas. About one-half of the students had reservations or questions about returning to their home areas.

To determine which social habits they found to be acceptable, students at four Christian colleges were asked how they felt about six “worldly practices” (fig. 2). About 60 percent felt that listening to rock music and social dancing would not compromise their Christian witness. Dating non-Christians, ...

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