Keeping Up the Faith at Creighton

Experts give advice and tips on ways to stay strong in faith

Creighton students are from a variety of different beliefs and faiths ranging from Christian, Muslim and Jewish, along with several others. Even with a diversity of students on campus holding different religious beliefs, all have the same problem when leaving home and entering the whole new world of college. This problem is staying strong in their faith while away from their comfort zone.

“Members of the Creighton community are challenged to reflect on transcendent values, including their relationship with God, in an atmosphere of freedom of inquiry, belief and religious worship.”

Creighton’s mission statement shares with students that not only will they grow in knowledge while attaining a Creighton education but also their faith.

As Christine Malloy, associate director of Campus Ministry said, “We are challenged to examine our beliefs, our relationship with God, and our sense of who we are called to be.”

Pressures that test and challenge a students’ faith come from different directions daily.

From studying, classes, relationships and stress to peer pressures such as drinking, students’ faiths are challenged.

Students have to leave their comfort zone along with those who they have built a trusting relationship with. They have to leave their place of worship along with their support system and have to start all over.

And this can be a challenge for most college students.

“One could assert that many students are strong in their religious beliefs before college, but that their own journeys of faith are just beginning,” Malloy said.

Here are some tips and advice to help keep your faith strong while at college and how to build another support system while away from your comfort zone.

  • Be prepared for the challenges. “If you aren’t being tested, then you are not paying attention,” said David Jones, a campus pastor at Kansas State University and president of National Campus Ministry Association. Know that there are others who are going to challenge your beliefs and experiences that are going to test your faith. 
  • Join a religious organization. Creighton has over seven different religious organizations offered on campus and even more organizations with a religious base. Use these to get connected with others of the same religion. Build a support system.  Find others who will be there to encourage you and to hold you accountable for your actions. 
  • Attend a local place of worship. Whether it is a church, mosque or synagogue, find one that is near to campus and attend it weekly. To find places of worship for any religious belief and denomination go to Campus Ministry’s Web site,
  • Find a mentor. Find someone back home of the same religious beliefs who you can talk to day or night and touch base with said Brian Raison, founder of “College 101” curriculum and “College Faith: How to Stay Strong and Make an Impact your First Year of College.”   
  • Talk to Campus Ministry. Creighton’s Campus Ministry serves all faith traditions, said

Malloy. “Campus Ministry serves an essential role in Creighton’s commitment to developing the whole person,” she said. They offer retreats, prayer groups, spiritual counseling along with much more.

  • Use your resources. Find someone on campus who you can talk to, to help you through hard times and when you are feeling stressed. Faculty, peers, residence advisors, ministers and chaplains are just to name a few of the many on campus who are willing to help. 

As a college student entering into the whole new world of college, beliefs can be expected to be challenged and faith is expected to be tested.

“Students … are encouraged to practice, reflect upon, and grow in faith during their years here,” Malloy said. “If you leave Creighton with exactly the same “-faith-” with which you arrived here, then you have not been touched by the mission of Creighton.”