Students find ways to keep faith with Ames’ religious organizations

Students in The Salt Company are encouraged to greet each other shortly after Thursday’s worship at Cornerstone Church begins.

Brian Day

After packing their bags, moving to college and exploring their newfound freedom, some students find their religious service attendance or their strength in faith significantly drops. 

According to a survey done by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, “64 percent of those currently enrolled in a traditional four-year institution have curbed their attendance habits.”

That is compared to the 76 percent of people who reported a decline in religious service attendance but never enrolled in any type of post-secondary education.

Students can avoid being a part of this statistic, if they choose. There are many opportunities across Iowa State and other universities around the world for college students to stay involved and continue in their faith.

“There are a number of churches and college ministries in Ames,” said Mark Duvick, president of The Salt Company at Iowa State. “I’ve been involved with The Salt Company for a number of years, and it has helped me to grow in my relationship with Christ.”

There are 31 different religious or spiritual groups on campus that students can get involved with in order to help them maintain, start or grow in their faith.

“It’s mostly just a social thing for me; just to start off and make sure I still keep in contact with faith, as well as make friends,” said Nicholas Meier, president of Campus Christian Fellowship, one of the 31 different religious groups on campus.

Meier said he found being social was one of the best ways for him to keep his faith while going to college.

“Just be active, be social and realize that you wanted to come to college as a freshman to meet friends; so getting involved in church is one way to do that,” Meier said.

Along with clubs and organizations on campus, there are several churches close to campus where students can attend religious services. 

Many of the churches near campus try to have services and small group meetings that are tailored toward college students to give them an opportunity to continue to grow in their faith.

Most churches near the campus area offer multiple different service times to try to accommodate the busy schedules of college students. Most churches have at least three different Sunday morning services, a Saturday evening service, and some even have services on Wednesday or Thursday night for those students who find themselves busy on the weekends.

“Some churches and college ministries are very close to campus, making them pretty convenient,” Duvick said.