FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2010
Office of College Communications
WENHAM, MA—Research has shown that 50 percent of Christian teens fail to connect with a faith community after high school. Dr. Cheryl Crawford, assistant professor of youth ministry at Azusa Pacific University, wanted to know why. So for the past six years Crawford has documented the lives of over a dozen Christian teenagers from New England as they transitioned from church youth groups to public colleges or universities.
Now Crawford, a ’77 Gordon College graduate, will present her findings in a lecture entitled “Will Your Kids Have Faith after High School? Faith, Choices, and Life,” sponsored by the Center for Student Leadership and the Office of Church Relations at Gordon College. The lecture will take place Thursday, October 28, at 7 p.m. in Gordon College’s Ken Olsen Science Center, Room 104, 255 Grapevine Road, Wenham (Exit 17 from Route 128). The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.
“As parents we do all we can to encourage our kids spiritually,” said Bob Whittet, associate professor of Christian Ministries. “But studies have shown that in spite of parents’ best efforts, teens often make decisions with lifelong ramifications that are truly challenging to their faith.”
In conjunction with the Fuller Youth Institute research project, Crawford began her study documenting the spiritual lives of teenagers from New England. Her purpose was, in part, to find solutions for how parents, youth ministers and professors of youth ministry can best help teens within the church maintain their spiritual integrity.
“People often say we’re losing kids from the church,” said professor Mark Cannister, cochair of the Christian Ministries Department. “But it’s always been difficult for our youth to get connected, so when they graduate from high school the challenge is even greater.”
The Gordon College community and parents form the North Shore are invited to explore Crawford’s findings on the faith disconnect for teens between high school and college.
Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 36 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu