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#7: The Three Necessary Ingredients to Grow Your Faith in College – Dr. Steven Garber

During his many years in ministry to students Steve noticed some thrived spiritually, while others did not. He began studying what the common factors were that caused students to thrive, eventually earning a PhD in the philosophy of learning at Penn State University. 

His research led to his first book, The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief & Behavior During the University Years, where he discusses the three critical success factors he identified. Now almost three decades later, The Fabric of Faithfulness continues to be widely read and these three principles continue to help countless students flourish as Christians during their university years, and beyond (and for this reason the subtitle was changed in the second edition, which we discuss). 

In our conversation Steve describes how college students (and the rest of us) can apply these principles, and the profound difference this will make in the lives of all who do so. 

In this podcast we discuss:

  • How Steve got interested in this topic
  • What he discovered from his research
  • The difference between professing belief and allowing it to shape our lives
  • Why it is necessary to take our faith seriously enough to let it shape our lives 
  • Why it is hard in all ages and cultures to take faith in Christ seriously 
  • Unique ways our current culture makes it hard to take faith in Christ seriously 
  • Ways universities generally teach views of life, history, and reality that make it hard to take faith in Christ seriously 
  • Similar and different challenges students will face at secular and Christian universities
  • The importance of discerning the perspective on life and the world being taught at any given university
  • The three things students must do to take their faith seriously and allow it to shape their lives (during college and beyond):
    • develop a robust Christian worldview
    • find a mentor 
    • find Christian community
  • The importance of knowing how to discern truth in a pluralizing, secularizing world
  • The need, reasons, and goals of a mentoring relationship, and how to find a mentor 
  •  Why it is critically important to find a community of other believers on campus and after graduation  
  • How to find a healthy Christian community on campus
  • Unhealthy features of some campus ministries on some campuses
    • Reducing faith to being purely private, disconnected from university conversations
    • A wrong theology of vocation promoted
  •  How these principles apply to growing in faith after college as well
  • The importance of living well in the “here and now,” imperfect as it is   

Resources mentioned during our conversation:

One Comment

  1. PROFile – April 2021 - Global Scholars
    PROFile – April 2021 - Global Scholars April 21, 2021

    […] ingredients necessary for students to grow their faith in college? Dr. Steven Garber, my guest on this month’s edition of the College Faith podcast, answers this […]

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