DiscipleshipDecember 10, 2022 2023-09-08 12:44
Spiritual Growth at College
Many Christian youths lose their faith in college. Atheistic professors and negative peer pressure can challenge and break young people’s faith.
Sattler College aims to be a safe, God-focused environment for students to learn academically while growing in their faith. The Sattler discipleship program involves the following different components:
Every weekday at 10:00, Sattler students gather for Tea Time—a short time of worship, rest, and social connection in the middle of the busy school day. The time is considered to be a mini-Sabbath for each and every workday. Every Tea Time opens with a song and, on Tuesday-Thursday, a student, faculty member, or guest speaker shares a “pearl of wisdom.” Sattler “pearls” are short bits of practical wisdom or Scriptural meditation that inspire and renew the Sattler community. On the other hand, Monday and Friday have no pearl. Tea Time is used mainly for free socializing, tea-drinking, and ping-pong playing on these days.
Sattler Journey Groups play a big role in Sattler’s discipleship model. Every student participates in a Journey Group, and this is a core feature of student life at Sattler. Journey Groups are small, same-gender groups of 3-5 students who meet weekly to disciple and pray for one another.
Every week, Journey Groups are open and accountable to each other in Scripture reading, prayer, fasting, purity, outreach, and community. Students also come ready to teach, encourage, and exhort each other, following an “Each one, teach one” model seen in 1 Corinthians 14:26. Students care for each other, build each other up, and pray for each other in Journey Groups.
Journey Groups push students to deepen relationships with their peers and learn to be accountable for their Christian life. Students get an opportunity to disciple and be discipled in a safe, stable environment. As a result, many students find that Journey Group marks a top highlight in their week.
Growth Panel Day presents students the opportunity to receive personalized feedback from an assembled team of Sattler leadership, faculty, and staff. The Growth Panel meets together at the end of the semester and collaborates to give each student feedback on their growth and development over the semester. The panel presents the feedback in a framework of things to keep, stop, and start.
Growth Panel exists to help students grow in their vocations and refuse spiritual stillness and receive constructive and critical feedback from “360 degrees”. The panel is an extension of the aforementioned discipleship principle that each one should teach one. It gives the mature disciples on the Growth Panel team an opportunity to speak personalized words of exhortation to every member of the student body.
Mentors are a key element of discipleship at Sattler. The mentoring relationship exists between a student and a mentor of their choosing. Mentors may come from a home community, a local church, or a future field the student is interested in. Students meet with their mentors once a month to discuss goals, receive feedback, and cultivate a relationship. The goal is for these relationships to be life-long sources of wisdom and guidance.
These mentoring relationships provide a space for students to be regularly discipled by a mature Christian who is ahead of them on the path of following Christ. It also gives students an opportunity to receive help navigating all the growth and challenges of college with someone from key figures outside the Sattler community. Receiving and providing mentorship are activities that will reap benefits for a lifetime, and it’s a key part of the process of making disciples who make disciples.
The Statement of Christian Discipleship
Sattler’s discipleship program culminates with students receiving a Statement of Christian Discipleship signed by the Growth Panel on graduation day. Students receive this commission with their diploma upon the completion of their bachelor’s degree. It serves as a launching point for students into their life as disciples after graduation. The statement summarizes the path of discipleship that each student participated in over the course of their studies. Also, the letter includes personalized reflections on each individual’s growth and development into diligent disciples of Christ. Finally, the letter ends with an exhortation to strive for an abundant life that rejects complacency and pursues a faithful presence in each student’s context.