AY Program Focuses on Challenges Adventist Students Face on Secular Campuses

“How Do I Stand True in a Secular Environment While Being Away from Home?” was the topic of a recent AY program at Vestal Hills church in upstate New York. As a result of the concern for young adults who are leaving home to complete their higher education, Khieanne Stephenson spearheaded a panel of seven university/college students who have remained true to the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, values, standards, and lifestyles.

Students from Cornell University, Binghamton University, SUNY Cortland, and Upstate Medical
University, emphasized that choosing to remain a Seventh-day Adventist, and knowing what their beliefs are and why, is crucial. The panel admitted it wasn’t easy to be on a secular campus, but have found that by not compromising even once, the students are respected for their beliefs and standards.

Because they stand firm, they are able to help their peers in times of crisis. The panelists mentioned how important their new church family is. This is where they meet fellow Adventist students they didn’t know were around. The students brought out that it takes effort on their part to find a church and attend weekly services. They appreciate the welcoming, warm, accepting, and inclusive congregations.

What was brought home to the listening congregation was that the points made are applicable to the members, too! Do we know and practice what we say we believe? Or, do we compromise? Do we make an effort to be at church weekly? Do we make an effort to schedule Bible study into our day? Do we utilize the different Apps and other tools for busy people?

There is a bright future for the Adventist Church. These students showed that Jesus is alive within His people.

Marnie Schrader, assistant communication director, Vestal Hills church