I’m a Christian and I go to a public university

I’m one of the few. Let’s just say that. There weren’t many kids from my youth group or church camp who decided to go to a state school like I did.

I’m in my third year at the University of Oklahoma studying public relations. And I’m a Christian.

When I first told people that I was for sure going to OU, I got some mixed reactions from other Christians. I could tell by the looks on people’s faces and the silence or the few comments that followed that it wasn’t a choice everyone approved of and the disapproval had nothing to do with sports rivalries.

You can imagine that I started to have second thoughts even though from the start of my one and only college visit to Norman I knew it would be my home for the next four years.

There were times when I wondered if I was doing the right thing? If I was following God’s will by going to such a “worldly” place?

That was until a friend said the most encouraging thing anyone ever said to me when it came to my college decision.

“State schools need Christians, too.”

To this day, I carry that memory in my mind. Whenever I start to doubt OU as the right decision, I remember what she told me because, yes, state schools desperately need Christians.

They need Christians because we are called to be a light on a hill.

They need Christians because every semester there are countless men who call themselves Christians that yell at the students simply walking to class on the South Oval and tell them that they are going to Hell.

They need Christians because there are a lot of lost souls at a state school.

They need Christians because if there aren’t Christians on campus, then they only know the stereotype.

They need Christians because if there aren’t Christians, then the Bible-beating, Hell-fire-and-brimstone preacherman who stands outside of Dale Hall will be the only thing they know about Christ.

Though people never told me, I think there were a few who had expectations of me falling away or at the very least my faith not being a strong as it could be.

In some ways they would be right. I don’t start my day with chapel. I don’t have hundreds or thousands of Christians surrounding me in class or at extracurricular events. I don’t have professors who start class with a prayer or scripture reading.

Instead, daily Bible reading and study is up to me and me alone. I’m surrounded by people who curse and who think that the harder they partied and the more “turnt” they got last weekend, the more of a person they are. And I have professors who will straight up say I’m ignorant for believing what I believe and have no problem trashing those beliefs. But it’s because of all this that I am a stronger Christian. It’s a kind of strength going to a Christian school never could have afforded me.

(Photo courtesy of Kathryn Patterson)



5 thoughts on “I’m a Christian and I go to a public university

  1. Hi there! I stumbled across your blog when a link appeared in my FB feed (a friend liked a friend who shared the link, as those things tend to go). I have delighted in discovering your corner of the internet today, as I see so many similarities in your journey to my own. I, too, braved a state school while the rest of my youth group went to a Christian university. I, too, majored in public relations at OU (after a brief stint as a print journalism major). I, too, landed my first internship in the OU Athletic Media Relations office. And I, too, adored my time at OU and grew stronger spiritually. My very best friends today are friends I met while at OU. Though more than a decade has passed since my time at OU ended, I remember it fondly and your blog brought some serious smiles to my face today. Congrats on all you’ve accomplished! And thank you for taking this path – the PR community can never have too many strong, independent, forward thinking women with strong convictions. Thanks again for the read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if that is more of a southern thing? I am one of the only Christians I knew from my youth group/ friend group who went to a Christian college! Most of my friends went to normal state schools (aka Colorado State) and loved it! I picked a Christian college because I grew up in public school and wanted to learn (for the first time) in a way that incorporated Jesus into education! It was so fun and such a unique experience. I remember looking around the room when on the first day of class the teacher said lets start with prayer and I was like “at school!?! whatt?! hahah!! I actually went to college near you in Northwest Arkansas at John Brown University! It was defiantly culture shock for me but I love it too.

    Are you part of a college ministry like Navs or Cru?

    Anyways, I totally agree with this! It is so important not to hide from the world. We need to be where the people are to shine the light of Jesus!! I’m proud of you for going against the flow and where you felt the Lord was calling you!


    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were specific to the South! It certainly won’t be the first time that come across cultural disparities like this within the U.S.

      There’s still a part of me that envies you and others who went to a Christian college because they do incorporate “Jesus into education” as you said. I love talking about Jesus and learning more about the Bible! But in the end, I’m so glad I made the decision that I did! I’m not involved in either of those college ministries, but I think there is a division of Cru on campus. However, I have gotten really involved with the college ministry at the church I attend and I have absolutely loved it! The college ministry has really made my college experience what it is!


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