Big News! I’m editing a book on faith & college

Here’s some pretty fun news to share: I’m editing a book on wrestling with faith and college! Yes…a real book, full of young adults’ stories, edited by me, and published by the Alban Institute.

So, yeah, that’s pretty cool. At the same time, I’ll be honest: I’m a bit intimidated by the marathon ahead. Though I’ve contributed essays to a few books over the years and worked with publishers on a small project here and there (well, and one very large one—the 2013 Presbyterian hymnal), I know I’m far from prepared for the challenges ahead. And yet, the project excites me greatly. I have a passion for stories, particularly the stories of young adults and how they experience faith and culture in our confusing, conflicted, contemporary world.

In today’s church it’s easy to find people who complain about young adults. Sadly, it’s a rare congregation who listens to them. Studies show—and anyone who speaks to young adults knows—that the faith and life experiences of 20/30-somethings today are very different than in years past. For many young adults, a pivotal time of faith development occurs in college. So, I’ll be editing a collection of essays written by 18-30 year-olds on the intersection of faith and college.

The working title of the book is, Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House: Wrestling with Faith and College. I’d love your help in getting the word out that I’m accepted essays. The formal Call for Submissions is below. Please share this post with your young-reflective-writer-type-friends-and-relations, or better yet, share this page describing the Call for Submissions. You’re welcome to be in touch with questions (send them to If all goes well, before this year’s college freshmen graduate a book will have been published that helps them—and the church, and the academy, and the world—think through the challenging intersection of college life and young people’s faith lives.



Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House:

Wrestling with Faith and College

Adam J. Copeland, Editor | Religion Faculty, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn.

Faith & College Book

What is your story of wrestling with faith as a college student?

How has your faith changed as a result of your college education, personal relationships, or cultural experiences?

What, if anything, does spirituality and God have to do with college life?

We want to publish your true stories of faith and life in college! The book of collected essays will be arranged by topic areas. Essay topics may include:

  • faith, doubt, and struggles to believe
  • sex and sexuality
  • service learning
  • faith off campus
  • does God have a plan for me?
  • relationships with those of other faiths and no faith

While the book is intended particularly to resource Christian congregations and church-related colleges, stories from those of many faith traditions — or no faith tradition — are welcomed. In short: essays addressing any experience of faith and life in college will be considered for publication.

Please submit a clean and polished Word file noting your full contact information to, by July 15, 2013. Authors of essays selected for inclusion in the collection will be notified by late summer.

Age Limit: Writers should be 18 to 30 years old.  Word Count: Aim for 6-14 pages, double-spaced.  Submission Process: This is an open submissions process.  Publisher: The book is under contract with Alban Publishing



  1. Hi Adam,
    My name is Simeon and I work with Wiens at Hot Metal Faith Community and she let me know about the book you are currently putting together, which sounds awesome! I am in seminary and have a heart for young adults making the transition of faith both in college and once they graduate. I’ve written a series of blog posts on website about myths the American Church has about the young adults in their congregations and why these myths turn young people away from the church. The writing targets the church and could potentially fall into your ” faith off campus” category, but it is not a conglomeration of personal college stories. Please let me know if this idea interests you, otherwise I’ll start a fresh and take a different approach. Thank you!

  2. Taking some seminary classes has greatly increased my faith while also causing me to distance myself from the church I belong to. It has been an interesting journey.

  3. It takes a lot of economic and social support to attend university; as a result, many people of lower income or those for whom social hardship is an insurmountable barrier, are either never able to attend or must find ways of beginning later in life. To limit the narrative based on age discrimination (18-30) not only censors experiences of class, race, and faith diversity but, in my opinion, normalizes a form of age-bigotry and age-segregation in higher education that is dangerous in a democracy of adults. Many people begin their first college class well after the age of 30, and many people (in a failing economy) should, but they are afraid to because of insular attitudes like the one so cavalierly expressed by your project.

    • Hi John. Thanks for your perspective. While I hear your concern, I do think there’s value in limiting the scope of the project to a certain age demographic. I certainly don’t want to support bigotry or segregation, but I am looking particularly for stories of young adults as the project focuses on their experiences as traditional college students. I hope you can find another venue to address your concerns and interests of older students.

Leave a Reply