Co-ed Christianity

Tuesday, 28 April 2009 18:13 Written by  Sydney Corryn

Being a Christian is a way of life for many people in the world. But when temptations rise, balancing spirituality and everyday life becomes a greater challenge. In the college atmosphere, sustaining your faith and walking with the Lord can become very complicated.


According to, a new study reveals that 70 percent of young adults between ages 23 and 30 said they stopped attending church for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22. Dealing with the daily pressures youth brings and being exposed to ways of life that are new and different, young Christians sometimes find it easy to stumble and get off track.

Daniel Hill, a student at Columbia College Chicago, attends Grove Heights Church on the South Side of Chicago.

“Over the years, my views of religion have changed because there are a lot of hypocrites,” Hill said. When asked how he steers away from drugs and alcohol, he says, “I tell myself serious lies.”

His method may be different, but it proves successful. Most young adults cannot keep their faith on their own; many have a supportive church and parents who guide them. Hill says that he has been able to keep his faith strong because of his parents and his church.

“Ever since I was young, my parents always told me Bible stories and taught me [what I should do and how I should live],” he says. Hill says his church plays a big role in his life because of the active youth groups. While most teens fail to find church entertaining or beneficial, he does. Hill also enjoys attending because the church is small, making the message more personal.

To those who are struggling, he recommends they discuss their issues with a youth pastor.

The pastors who dedicate their lives to encouraging the youth are also pillars in the Christian community. Youth Pastor Farida Mays runs Youth Living for Christ (YL4C) with her husband, Garland Mays, at the Lighthouse Church of All Nations in Alsip, Ill. She and her husband have dedicated their lives to bringing teens to Jesus. She was born in a Christian household where her parents practiced what they preached.

However, when she was in college at Northern Illinois University, she stumbled a bit because the spiritual people she had been used to no longer surrounded her.

“One of the main issues with today’s youth is the lack of esteem; they start buying guns, doing drugs and drinking as a way to increase their self-esteem,” she said. She believes adults today need to edify and motivate the youth.

Many youth groups seem to lose flavor, members and dedication, but not under the Mays’ watch. “We have a passion to see kids come to Jesus and that motivates us,” Farida says. She stated that 75 percent of young adults drop out of church when they go off to college and never come back unless they can find an influential person at a church.

Numerous Christian young adults deal with negative influences and temptation as they move into college age. Farida says they need influential members of the church to teach youth how to encourage themselves.  She advises those who are Christians and heading to or are already in college to make sure they are strong enough to handle the challenges that come along with certain things like dating. Also, she believes that other activities such as drinking and smoking “is not pleasing in God’s eyes because your body is a temple; you should not put anything in your body that may poison you or make you delusional and do things you wouldn’t normally do.”

The advice she gives to college students who are struggling to keep their spirituality in tact is to hang around a like-minded crowd and to not be caught up with others who could possibly be a bad influence.

Photography By Billy Montgomery

Sydney Corryn

Sydney Corryn

Sydney Corryn is a recent graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in journalism. Her interests range from socioeconomic problems, culture, traveling, dysfunctional political campaigns, and of course, Chicago's nightlife. She hopes to use her communication skills and passion for community issues to create a career for herself.  She will be teaching English in Chile for six months starting the end of June, 2012.

Sydney can be contacted at Sydney@glossmagazineonline or