The Importance of Community in College

When freshman arrive at college, they have many choices about how to spend their time and what communities to join. For those who are Christians, they are faced with the challenge of following God in a new context. Navigators Collegiate ministry comes alongside new students to welcome them into a trusted, authentic, and healthy community, to help them to know Christ and grow in their relationship with Him and eventually help others do the same.

Jully shares about her experience as a college freshman: “When I came to college, I put God aside because I didn’t make time to pray or read the Bible. I chose not to get involved in any ministry groups because I thought I didn’t have time for God.”

Then one day, Cara, Jully’s resident assistant who is active with The Navigators at Oklahoma State University, knocked on Jully’s door. “I met Jully by knocking on her door one afternoon because I realized I had never had a real conversation with her. When I started talking with her, I noticed she seemed to be lacking community. I shared with her from Scripture about the importance of fellowship and being close to a body of believers and invited her to NavNite that week.”

What Cara didn’t realize was that her invitation to Jully came at a time when she was at a low point. Jully says, “We never talked much before so I was quite surprised [when she knocked on my door]. Instead of pretending I was okay, I opened up and told her what was really going on in my life. I had no idea that she was a Christian. She shared God’s Word with me and asked me if I wanted to go to a coffee shop and meet her friends. There, I learned that she and all her friends were in a ministry group called The Navigators. She invited me to come to their weekly meetings and I went later that week.”

For Jully, the simple knock on the door by Cara, and invitation into community has made a difference in her walk with Jesus. Jully shares, “That moment was a spark for me to start living my life as a Christian. Before, I was ashamed to call myself a Christian because I never put God as a priority in my life. Ever since then, I pray and read the Bible almost daily. In all honesty, joining The Navigators was the best thing that has happened to me since I came to college!”

Pray for Navigators Collegiate ministries all over the States as they prepare to welcome new students to campus this fall. There are many students like Jully who need the encouragement of Christian community to continue following Jesus as college students. Other students who don’t yet follow Jesus are looking for purpose and hope; pray that they will meet a Navigator who will knock on their door and invite them into life-changing community.


  1. Seeing your story about Jully reminded me of my guilt feelings in college 56 years ago. I went to high school with Dawson Trotman’s kids and grew up in a strong Christian home. But I still had to overcome my rebellion. I went to Colorado State College (UNC) and a couple of weeks after I began a Navigator came to my door and I got rid of him by saying I wasn’t interested and closing the door. I met and married my bride later that year and began by involving myself in local ministry.
    After 14 years in teaching, 9 years on the mission field and the last 19 years pastoring a church in South Carolina, I still feel badly about how I treated that young man at my door, but he went on and was certainly effective in the UNC community. In many ways, that visit had an impact on me that I still remember vividly. When I was getting a masters at CSU, I encouraged the Intervarsity kids that were training there and shared with them that the Lord uses them in what they might view as failures.

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