Gordon in the News: last updated 06/13/2011

Faith After High School? Gordon College Hosts Special Workshops for Parents and Youthworkers

February 28, 2011

Natalie Ferjulian
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA—Fifty percent of Christian teens fail to connect with a faith community after high school, research suggests. 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 as they transitioned from church youth groups to public colleges or universities.

Now Crawford will present her findings in a day-long symposium at Denver Seminary, Friday, March 18, entitled, “Will Your Kids Have Faith after High School? Faith, Choices, and Life.” The event—which is free and open to the public—is sponsored by the Center for Student Leadership and the Office of Church Relations at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and will take place at the Chapel of Denver Seminary (6399 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, Colorado). Doors open at 8:15 a.m. for registration, check-in and a light continental breakfast. The event runs from at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a complimentary lunch at noon. Registration is encouraged. 

“As parents and youth pastors, we do all we can to encourage our kids spiritually,” said Bob Whittet, associate professor of Christian Ministries at Gordon College. “But studies have shown that in spite of our best efforts, teens often make decisions with lifelong ramifications that are challenging to their faith.”

The primary purpose of Crawford’s study on the spiritual lives of teenagers, in conjunction with the Fuller Youth Institute research project, was 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 Mark Cannister, professor and cochair of the Christian Ministries Department at Gordon College. “But it’s always been difficult for our youth to get connected, so when they graduate from high school the challenge is even greater.”

This is the third year Gordon College and Denver Seminary have teamed up to provide vital training and resources as a gift to Colorado youth workers and parents. Crawford’s findings and workshop continue that tradition of enhancing the work of those who influence today’s young people.

Register for the symposium on youth ministry.

Register for the parents’ symposium.

For more information contact .


Gordon College is a multidenominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 38 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