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Heading to university this autumn? Wondering how you can grow and share your faith while you’re there? With some help from our friends at UCCF, we’ve gathered lots of advice from current students and university Chaplains:


‘When you start uni you are entering a time of exploration and discovery. It takes a while to settle in, make friends, and to feel comfortable living independently. It’s only natural to want to find a Christian community where you can feel at home. But sometimes, this takes a bit of time; maybe the church or society that you first find, on campus or off, ends up being ‘not quite right’ for you. Don’t feel guilty about this. It is normal and natural to struggle within a new situation, church, or Christian group. The Chaplains at uni can help you to understand what might be most helpful for you. Chaplains are always ready to listen, to anything you might want to say, or any doubts you might have. Use them, they have heard all sorts of stories, from all sorts of people, and are virtually unshockable! They will always be kind, and never judge you.’

Revd Annie Rowley // Chaplain at York St John University


‘My advice would include:

Making contact with the Christian Chaplaincy Team – the team can be a source of support throughout your years at university, be it for general pastoral care or more specific Christian guidance. The Chaplains can also help connect you with a church community that would be suitable for you, or at least suggest some churches that you might like to try whilst working out which will be best for you. The team will also be familiar with the whole university set up and the city itself. 

I think it is also good to try and establish a pattern/rhythm of personal prayer fairly early on; this will help to keep you anchored amidst the different challenges that starting at university can present; again, the Chaplaincy team can offer advice in relation to this area. 

Also, check out the various Christian student societies.’

Revd Adam Dickens // Chaplain at the University of Derby


‘I went to university in 1998 unsure who God was and mixed up in my faith. Thankfully a friend encouraged me to try his church and the University Christian Union. Through both I discovered Jesus and found a relationship with God of my own that has lasted and grown ever since. The church and the CU taught me to know Jesus through the Scriptures, and to share Jesus with others. If you're going to uni this autumn, make sure you find a church that will help you meet Jesus in the Scriptures, and check out the CU to find likeminded people who want to share their faith with fellow students.’

Tom Rout // Lead Chaplain at the University of Suffolk



‘For me, finding a strong Christian community to get engaged with, whether that be Church or the Christian Union, meant that I had a true group of friends I could rely on. As a result, I could grow in my faith with people like myself, get advice from those who have experienced what I was going through, and also encourage and support me to involve myself in things outside the Christian bubble, like sports club or course activities, which allowed me to broaden my community and put my faith into practice.’ 

James, Glasgow


‘Ask around and have a look online to work out what church(es) you might want to try out, so you can settle in as soon as possible. Many churches have talks recorded on the website so you can get a flavour of what they’re like. The very beginning of time at uni can be scary, but is also often the most valuable time for sharing Jesus. People are willing to try lots of new things and get to know new people – it’s a really exciting opportunity to make the most of!’

Jonathan, Oxford University


‘My biggest piece of advice would be to get stuck into a church straight away. Go on the first Sunday you get to uni. It’s a great way to be distinctive from the outset and to meet other Christians.’

Rachel, Oxford Brookes University


‘As a first-year unpacking my boxes in halls for the first time, I had no idea how formative university would prove to be. Looking back on those first few crazy weeks, my main bit of advice would be: pray through everything, big and small. If you want to find a couple of close Christian friends, ask God to help you. If you’re terrified about trying out a new society, ask God to give you strength. Even if you’re just not sure where to sit in a lecture hall, pray about it – I met one of my best friends that way, who happened to be a Christian in a room full of 400 other English undergrads. Prayer is the sure-fire way to get through the tough first couple of months, and to really thrive for the rest of your three years.’

Milla, Exeter University


‘University is an incredible time to learn new things, meet new people and dig deep into how you understand the world. Make the most of the opportunity! Take the plunge early on and get yourself an older and wiser friend or two at church to help you ask big questions, be honest about how you’re feeling, and process what you’re learning as you explore God’s amazing creation.’

Joanna, Durham University



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