A few weeks ago I attended a doctoral seminar at Southern Seminary that was focused on ministry to college students and emerging adults. One of the assignments for each of the class members was to evaluate a resource for college students.

As I was sitting in class, I took notes from my classmates presentations and thought I’d put them here for you if you’re looking for something to help students with their faith as they go off to college.

By the way…the links are affiliate links, so I make a few pennies if you decide to buy from amazon after clicking here.

Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own by Ryan and Josh Shook
This book speaks especially but not exclusively to students who have grown up in church, challenging them to look at why they believe what they believe. It helps them personalize their faith that they may have inherited from their parents. The end of each chapter has a section called “Making it real,” which includes thoughts from real students going through the same issue, questions to think about, and action steps to put principles into practice.

How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski
A book that exists to encourage students to seek light and avoid darkness in college. Written for Christian students going to or in college. Parents can also benefit from this resource. It helps each of these groups deal with issues concerning worldview, campus myths, and coping with campus life in general. Great, practical advice to students about various situations in which they may find themselves during college. One such example is, “Coping with hostile professors.”

Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God’s Will by Kevin DeYoung
The book exists to encourage Christians to make life decisions and not labor on God opening doors, giving signs, or finding out his will. God has given us brains and shows us the way of obedience, inviting us to take risks for him. Good book to read with young people and talk through decision making.

University of Destruction: Your Game Plan for Spiritual Victory on Campus by David Wheaton
Wheaton seeks to make college bound students aware of the challenges they will face as they go off to college. It is a personal study with opportunities at the end of several chapters to make signed commitments to specific principles. Practical insight in each chapter along with Scripture to memorize to help apply the Word of God to the young adult’s life. Wheaton argues that there are three types of people: overcomes, compromisers, and pretenders. This book gives a game plan for young adults to be overcomes in the war for their soul.

Why Church Matters: Discovering Your Place in the Family of God by Joshua Harris
An extremely practical argument for why we need a local church and how to best commit ourselves to being on mission through it in our lives. It gets away from the idea of “dating church,” or looking at church as a non-committed relationship. This book is a good resource for those who you want to stay connected to a local church while in college or those who are looking for a local church after moving away.

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matthew Perman
This book discusses myths about productivity and gives an overview of Gospel-driven productivity, which helps people use all that they have in all areas of life, for the good of others, to the glory of God. Perman gives productivity practices that will help college students as they get into the task of balancing work and school life.

Thriving at College by Alex Chediak
Thriving in college is about finding one’s place in God’s world so that they may be a blessing to others. It explains why college, relationships, character and academics matter, giving college students the encouragement and advice they need to not just survive college or “get by” but to assume the responsibility to thrive during this critical time of their life.

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
A book about the story of the Prodigal Son that brings the story to life like you’ve never seen it before.

Street-Smart Advice: to Christian College Students from a Professor’s Point of View by Michael J. Bozack
This book is for prospective Christian college students that give details relating to the basics of university life on both small, private Christian colleges and large, secular universities. Bozack gives academic, social, and religious advice for Christian students.

King of the Campus by Stephen Lutz
Gives an idea of how to think about college life, especially the mission of the college student while on campus. Encourages students to live a holy life, different than those who don’t know Christ.

Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview by William Brown, Gary Phillips, and John Stonestreet
Offers a Christian exploration and analysis of worldviews, describes and defends a distinctly biblical worldview, and applies the biblical worldview to life. Probably used best as a curriculum or something to work through together.

The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby
A resource for Christian students at the end of high school or early college that need to know the importance of academic faithfulness. Takes a look at the expectations and motivations many students have for college and why we should want to do well in order to glorify God.

Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Life and Learning by Derek Melleby
Small book written to help students make the most of their time while in college. Based around seven big questions that they can use to think intentionally about what kind of person they aim to be.

Jesus or Nothing by Dan DeWitt
A book that seeks to to show that Christianity is both plausible and desirable. Based on the book of Colossians. Will help students grow in compassion for those who do not believe.

I have not read all of these resources, but we had some good discussion about each of them. Let me know if you use any of these resources with college students.