College can be a challenging time for some students. Learning to balance Christian faith with the demands of a college education is not always easy. At this time, books can be a key to helping the Christian college student stay on task, both academically and spiritually. Many of these books are easy to read and can give you just the right amount of support for your spiritual life without adding a heavy load to your to-do list.
12 BOOKS EVERY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE STUDENT SHOULD READ
Even though you may lack as much downtime for reading as you did before you went to school, carving out some time to build your faith through quality books and Bible study is important. Yet how can you dig through all of the Christian books on the market to find the right ones? Many self-help books will not strengthen your faith, even if they take a biblical slant. As you are picking the things to read this semester, here are some books you should consider putting on your list:
1. RADICAL: TAKING BACK YOUR FAITH FROM THE AMERICAN DREAM BY DAVID PLATT
The American dream may sound like a great thing to strive for, but is it really a healthy option for your spiritual walk? Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream challenges American Christians to wake up and consider why they are here on this earth. Is it to have 2.5 kids, a dog, and a house in the suburbs? Or is there something greater? This book explores overseas missions specifically, and it will challenge you spiritually with every page.
2. WHY WE LOVE THE CHURCH: IN PRAISE OF INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZED RELIGION BY KEVIN DEYOUNG AND TED KLUCK
In your college years, you may be tempted to step away from organized religion and the church in general. There are many things that demand your attention. Going to church may feel like just a little more than you can handle. Sometimes when you do go, it can feel like the church is filled with more problems than the world. Why We Love the Church will remind you of the theological reasons why the church is important and challenge you to get involved in your local church, in spite of its imperfections, to glorify God with your life.
3. DON'T WASTE YOUR LIFE BY JOHN PIPER
Do you want your life to count? Of course, you do, or you wouldn't be in college. But how do you want it to count? If you want it to count for Christ, Don't Waste Your Life will help you remember how to do that. This is one of the must-read Christian books, not just for college students, but for all people of faith. With so many temptations to waste life, this book will help you keep your priorities straight.
4. KNOWING GOD BY J. I. PACKER
Knowing God is one of the all-time best-selling Christian books. This book delves into how to truly get to know God on an intimate level. Packer takes the reader past just a head knowledge of God and explores how to know him personally. This book has sold over one million copies, putting it at the top of the list among theological books. If you want to revolutionize your walk with God, this book will help you do so.
5. PRAYER: EXPERIENCING AWE AND INTIMACY WITH GOD BY TIM KELLER
Learning to pray is not always easy. You know you should do it, but how do you build this discipline in your life? Keller explores this concept in Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. With a strong prayer life, your college experience will be a much more focused and enjoyable one.
6. JUST DO SOMETHING: A LIBERATING APPROACH TO FINDING GOD'S WILL BY KEVIN DEYOUNG
The college years are filled with questions about what to do next, and a believing college student will want to find God's will in that endeavor. This book makes it on the list because it addresses those nagging questions young adults face, like "Where should I live after graduation?" and "What is God's will for this next step?" While adults face these questions regularly, there seems to be a huge number of them in college, and Just Do Something will help you see how to find God's hand in these big decisions.
7. THE HOLINESS OF GOD BY R.C. SPROUL
God is holy. As a Christian, you probably know and accept this fact, but do you really understand what it means and how it should impact your daily life? Most college students do not. The Holiness of God will put you face-to-face with the awe-inspiring presence of a holy God, giving you a much-needed perspective of God's greatness and your lowliness.
8. FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD: TRUSTING, READING AND APPLYING THE BIBLE BY SINCLAIR FERGUSON
This book is a great little read because it is just over 200 pages and has practical application and teaching on every page. If you are new to your faith, From the Mouth of God will explore some of the most basic doctrines while also teaching you how to read and interpret the Bible on your own. If you have been a believer for a while, this short book will give you a refresher on the doctrines that are so vital to your success as a believer.
9. ORDINARY: SUSTAINABLE FAITH IN A RADICAL, RESTLESS WORLD BY MICHAEL HORTON
Our world is definitely restless, and people of faith can be a stalwart example in this time. Yet many find themselves restless, as well. This book is aimed at the Millennial generation, and it has quite a bit of truth for the current college student. Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World shows the beauty in ordinary commitment to the local church, faithfulness to Christ in the daily routines of life, and how that type of lifestyle is more sustainable than the radical ministry style that is all too popular in modern culture.
10. WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? MANHOOD AND WOMANHOOD ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE BY JOHN PIPER
Just 91 pages long, What's the Difference explores the ideas of biblical manhood and womanhood in one concise volume. This is a concept that is quickly falling by the wayside in modern society, yet the roles of men and women are clearly taught in Scripture. This is one of the best Christian books for men and women that helps define the genders and their roles in the Christian life. It is not demeaning to either one but shows how both masculinity and femininity benefit the world and the church with their distinctions.
11. SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES FOR THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BY DONALD WHITNEY
What do you really need to do to be a victorious, growing Christian? Your college years are the best time to learn the disciplines that you need for your adult life. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life discusses these disciplines, including prayer, Bible reading, journaling, and others, and how to make them a habit. By cultivating these in your life, you can become more like Christ every day, and that is the ultimate goal of your Christian walk. Applying the truths in this book will help you graduate with solid habits in place that will support your faith journey well past your college years.
12. WHEN I DON'T DESIRE GOD: HOW TO FIGHT FOR JOY BY JOHN PIPER
You may not want to admit it, but at some point in your college career, you may find that you just don't feel all that spiritual. The demands of classwork, social activities, work, and life, in general, can distract you from your Christian faith. These seasons of spiritual dryness can create a lack of joy and desire for God. It's important to address them and to push through. Piper investigates how to do this in When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy. This book explores how to overcome this spiritual dryness and fight for the joy that is found in the Lord.
BUILD YOUR CHRISTIAN FAITH WITH THE RIGHT EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
College is a critical time for you to build and develop your faith, but it is also a critical time for you to get the right educational foundation. The school you choose can be a crucial part of both.
University of the Cumberlands believes in providing students with a firm educational foundation while also supporting them in their Christian faith. By bringing together school and faith, and offering a supportive atmosphere for both, we are able to help you earn your degree while focusing on growing your beliefs at the same time.