Thriving at College

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In this 31 minute session from the 2012 Ligonier Conference, Alex Chediak, professor at California Baptist University and author of Thriving at College, advises college students to live maturely, responsibly and Christianly at their universities. Taking several points from his book, Dr. Chediak offers powerful advice with a unique perspective as a professor and a parent.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your role.



College is a difficulty transitionary time for almost every student. Negative reactions to the stress of college lead to academic failure, moral compromise, and delayed adolescence.

The following questions will challenge you to evaluate your own college experience. If this experience is past tense for you, answer from your memory while considering how you might use this introspection to help students who are now in your life.

What was the most unexpected temptation for you when you entered college? Why do you think you were unprepared for this?
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How did you handle the academic transition from high school to college? Was the shift in academic responsibility a shock for you?
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If you are already out of college, can you identify when you first knew that you were an adult? What are the markers of maturity that gave you this realization? How can this answer help you to counsel a young person in the early stages of college?
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The college years should be a launching pad into all that goes into responsible Christian adulthood. College students will thrive during this season of their life if they enter it with expectation for growth and a strong reliance on the Lord. Strong Christian fellowship is one of the primary avenues to encourage students in maturity and faith.


Did you experience loneliness when you entered college? What was the biggest relational difference for you between high school and college?
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What are some practical things students can do to develop lasting, quality friendships during this time?
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What is the difference between relational choices and relational reactions?
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Dr. Chediak offered that every employer wants a well-rounded, intelligent, articulate, flexible person who can work in a variety of environments with good problem solving skills, communication skills, and people skills. College is a great time to grow in all of these areas for a person who takes their time there seriously.

Some people are constantly on the move with distractions instead of accomplishing what they need to do. How have you experienced great business without fruitfulness?
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What is the best advice you would give to an incoming freshman about priorities?
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In what part of your life do you face the biggest temptation to make excuses? What can a person do to break out of the excuse cycle?
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How has the academic work of college informed you about your skills and talents? How have these realizations helped you in your service to the Lord?
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Most Christians who abandon their faith do so during their college years. Dr. Chediak's message is a great reminder that students should be prepared to personally own their faith and intentionally mature during this time. 


If you would like to purchase Thriving at College, you can find it at Alex Chediak's website.

If you are interested in learning more about R.C. Sproul's Ligonier Ministries, visit their website at ligonier.org.