By Zoe Sypolt
Discovering who you are and what you believe is an essential part of the college experience. When beginning this new adventure living away from home for the first time, many students find themselves searching for friends of likeminded faith for support when facing temptations associated with the stereotypical college lifestyle.
Potomac State College has three clubs to help students become more deeply rooted and grow in their Christian faith.
Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) is an international organization that was founded in 1951. It is one college organization that’s fighting to decrease the staggering statistic that 70 percent of first year Christian college students walk away from their faith.
PSC’s CRU chapter, Campus Hope in Christ, meets for lunch every Tuesday in the Davis Conference Center from 12-12:30 p.m.
Professor Vicki Huffman said she was one of those statistics. Although she did not necessarily walk away from her faith, she found it difficult to devote time to focus on her relationship with Jesus. She became a co-sponsor for CRU when she started working at PSC in 2005.
Although PSC’s CRU is much smaller than other college campuses, she described it as a “safe haven” for believers to fellowship together and share struggles and testimonies. They also sponsor a free movie night for students to attend.
Recently, the club provided free tickets for “God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness” at the Country Club Mall Cinema.
Drew Waasdorp, current president of CRU, joined as a freshman in the fall of 2016. He described CRU meetings as a place where students can be filled both physically and spiritually, as they enjoy lunch and a hear message from local pastors and leaders each week.
After Sara Sredy attended the first CRU meeting, she knew the club would become a part of her weekly routine.
“We did a group activity that involved everyone writing on a piece of paper ‘God can’ and filled in the blank,” she said. “It was something so simple but reminded me of how much God does in our lives.”
Sredy said that weekly meetings give her a break from academics and remind her to make time for faith in her busy schedule.
Cross Impact, another Christian student organization at PSC, is sponsored by the Gospel Life Baptist Church in Keyser. The chapter meets on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the Heritage Room.
While Professor Derick Matlick is the club sponsor, Pastor Mike Wyatt usually runs the weekly meetings.
“Our club is a place where students can come and feel support,” said Matlick. “The college environment can be pretty tough on an 18-year-old.”
Cross Impact is a way to reach college students with the Gospel and encourage growth. “We’ve seen kids come to know Christ as their Savior during our weekly meetings. It’s just a great place to give them the support that they may be lacking when they leave their home church and friends,” said Matlick.
Christians around campus are not just meeting weekly to revive their spirits. The Campus & Community Ministries Club meets every Monday in the library from 3-4 p.m.
It entails a variety of community outreach projects, including taking mission trips each spring, working with local community members, and creating seasonal items for the nursing home.
Last year, students spent their spring break rebuilding houses in southern West Virginia that were destroyed by the floods.
Local Pastor Lauren Godwin, the sponsor of the club said, “It’s a club where students get to serve others in the community, which is one of the things Jesus called us to do.”