Parenting Today's College Student...

As the parent of a college student, maybe you've experienced what relay runners feel as they make the all-important baton pass to their teammates.

Fear: "Will I make the pass successfully-"
Sadness: "Wow, my part is done. Could I have done better-"
Joy and relief: "I did it! It's their turn now."

Like a coach, you've worked hard in training your children, preparing them for that time when you "hand them off" to the next level of maturity. And the "baton" pass is a critical component in assuring your child's success through the race of life.

What will they find on campus- Maybe not what you'd typically think. Research expert George Barna, in an on-line report, states that 80 percent of today's teens claim religious faith as very important. "Most teens are desperately striving to determine a valid and compelling purpose in life," Barna concluded. "There exists an opportunity for the church and para-church organizations to position themselves as a place of valuable insight and assistance."

That's where The U.S. Collegiate Navigators fit in. Beginning in 1933 when Navigators founder Dawson Trotman taught sailors how to mature in their faith, The Navigators has grown into an international ministry with a presence in 105 countries. The Collegiate Navigators now number over 400 staff on nearly 70 campuses and minister on another 100-plus campuses led by volunteers. On campus, Navigators is an officially recognized student organization with faculty sponsors, and our goal is straightforward:

•To reach, disciple, and equip college students in the U.S. to know Christ and to make Him known through successive generations in all the nations.

•So what does that look like- While every campus ministry is unique, there are some things that make our ministries distinctively "Navigator."

•One-to-one, "life-to-life" time with students, helping them learn how to study and apply the Bible, communicate their faith, balance priorities, pray, and grow in Christ like character.

•Small group Bible studies, which help students mature in their understanding and application of Scriptural truth.

•Large group events aimed to develop relationships and provide fun and challenging social and spiritual growth opportunities.

•Conferences and retreats where students can get away from the rigors of college life and focus on friendships and spiritual development.

The bottom line- Navigators staff love students, and we value the opportunity to invest in your child's life during the college years. Someday, these years will end and your son or daughter will begin a new chapter in the journey. Until then, we count it a privilege to be one of the pairs of "hands" that help carry him or her forward in the ongoing race of life.