I'm currently involved in writing a resource for college students and Sixth Formers who are heading to university. Here is a short piece that I've started writing on Christians and university studies: what do you reckon?
Above all, Christians undertake their studies as acts of worship.
As Christians, we believe everything comes from God our Creator. Your brain, your aptitude at maths or history, your eye for design and your ability with your hands (delete as appropriate!) all come from him. Not only that, but he’s given us his world to steward, explore and enjoy. And that’s what you’re doing on your course.
When these realities hit home, you’ll want to humbly pursue excellence on your course. You’ll be humble as you use your God-given gifts to study, because you know that you never whipped them up from within yourself. Instead, you will want to use these gifts and skills to please God – simply because of who he is: the Creator and Lord of the Universe, and the God who loves so much.
Christians should want to offer their talents and abilities in their studies as an act of worship. That means that we will work hard, regardless of the grades we receive and when our studies aren’t fun. We won’t make an idol of our studies – because we know that we’re acceptable to God just as we are, regardless of whether we get that first (or 2:1). But we need never be ashamed of wanting to do our best in our studies provided that our motivation is to please and honour God, rather than to earn our own praise.
And we needn’t be scared of really engaging with the ideas that are taught on our courses. Some Christians sometimes give the impression that if they engage their brains in their studies too much, they might discover something that causes their beliefs to all come tumbling down. But the Bible claims to be public truth and not private fantasy. You may well come across challenges to Biblical Christianity on your course – but, if you do, don’t be afraid. If Christianity really is true, it will stand up to the hardest scrutiny.