October 3, 2011

While a new study of evangelical college students finds that up to half of them can drift from their faith while attending school, Catholics in campus ministry say that the findings are applicable to Catholic college students as well.

The study, Sticky Faith, found that the drift applied whether a student was living on campus or commuting from home, and that students were just as susceptible even if they were enrolled at a religiously affiliated school.

Kara Powell, one of the study's authors who teaches at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., told Catholic News Service that the first two weeks of school frequently determine whether a Christian student's faith will be sustained during their undergraduate years.

"They're in a world where there's nobody they know," Powell said.

"College is a lot like a second junior high - experimenting with their identities.

They'll be one way one day and another way with a different group of people."