College Transition Initiative

Welcome to the blog of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding’s (CPYU) College Transition Initiative (CTI). This site contains commentary on transitional issues, exploring research, trends and college student culture. For more information visit:

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Location: Elizabethtown, PA, United States

The transition from high school to college is a difficult one, and yet, it is a transition that is often overlooked. This site is to help college bound students, parents, and youth workers stay up to date on the latest research and trends in regards to college transition. Your comments are greatly appreciated. Join the conversation!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Affirming Doubt

For the Spring edition of CPYU's Engage, I wrote an article entitled "Affirming Doubt: Helping Students Ask and Answer Tough Questions." Drawing from my own experience of doubt during my time in Thailand shortly after the Tsunami, I explained that asking tough questions and being honest about our doubts about God and faith can be a needed, but painful aspect of discipleship.

I thought the article needed to be written because of students I have known over the years that have struggled with doubt. Many of the students were told that there was no room for doubt in the Christian faith. In the article I record "gripes" I often hear from students:

“In youth group, I wasn’t supposed to ask questions, but to have faith.”

“No one ever told me there were so many intellectual challenges to the Christian faith.”

“If I have doubts, I must not have faith, so I can do whatever I want.”

I then offer three responses for parents and youthworkers:

"Model a life of life-long learning."

"Create a safe space for students to ask questions and articulate their faith in their own words."

"Be patient with students who are wrestling with faith, affirm them in the struggle, but get them to see what good and honest doubting looks like."

You can read the entire article here.


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