(MADISON, WI)––InterVarsity Christian Fellowship released a survey today assessing Christian higher education students’ well-being and attitudes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, their viewpoints on social issues, their discipleship resourcing needs, and more. Representing 316 current InterVarsity students on 127 college campuses, the findings reveal racial justice and climate change as the most important social issues, and isolation, lack of community, and/or a lack of social interactions as the primary factors in a decline in mental health.
“Generation Z is the most connected generation yet, with an unprecedented online presence and digital connectivity,” said Tom Lin, President & CEO of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. “However, the findings of this survey show just how important community and fellowship are to students’ overall well-being and how important it is to maintain and cultivate these on college campuses.”
Key findings include:
- Almost half (47%) of students reported that their mental and emotional health has been negatively impacted as a result of the pandemic. Of these students, 71% contributed this to isolation, lack of community, and/or a lack of social interactions.
- 60% of students are hungry for even more resources on Scripture study and 52% want more guidance on prayer; nearly half (47%) of students are looking for resources to provide guidance on dating and marriage.
- Top issues of importance to students today are: racial justice (39%); climate change (29%); foster care, adoption, and orphan care (28%). Jobs and the economy (14%); immigration (10%); and serving refugees (8%) were ranked the lowest.
“I’m deeply encouraged that the top areas Gen Z students want to grow in are in studying Scripture and developing a deeper prayer life. Scripture study and prayer are central to how InterVarsity is addressing the loneliness and isolation Gen Z students have experienced this year, and they are the lens through which we understand and engage social issues,” Lin said.
Greg Jao, Chief Communications Officer at InterVarsity, added: “Emerging from the past year of racial unrest, we’re seeing how the social issues that our nation reckons with are also at the forefront of our students’ minds. As a campus ministry, it’s crucial for us to help students navigate both these issues and how to live out their faith from a Biblical perspective in real time on college campuses.”
The survey results are now available to read and download at https://pinkston.co/2021-Student-Survey.
For more information, contact InterVarsity@pinkston.co.
About InterVarsity Christian Fellowship:
One of the largest campus ministries in the United States, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship ministers to students and faculty on 769 campuses and has over 1,100 chapters across the nation, from Ivy League schools to community colleges. For over 75 years, InterVarsity has partnered with hundreds of college campuses to see students and faculty transformed, campuses renewed, and world changers developed. InterVarsity is dedicated to establishing and advancing witnessing communities of students and faculty on college and university campuses.