Faith-based college ministries are facing an uphill battle on non-Christian campuses. Christian students are walking away from their faith in droves.
However, one organization is working with these ministries to ensure that no freshman on campus is lost in the transition to college.
Roughly 70 percent of Christian teens who head off to college end up walking away from their faith in the first year, according to Campus Renewal.
One college ministry, The Navigators, has found that the first 72 hours is crucial in a new student's life, so it's important for the Christian organizations to intentionally connect with students before the start of classes.
Campus Renewal is hoping to reverse those numbers and eventually double the number of Christian freshmen on campus.
They have launched Campus Ministry Link, a new online tool that connects high school seniors to college ministries and campus churches.
"The harvest is plentiful at universities, but the laborers have been too few," said John Decker, partnership director for Campus Ministry Link.
"This tool will make it normal for students to prepare as high school juniors and seniors and experience growing in community and reaching other freshmen," he added. "College movements will be fueled, freshmen will return for Christmas to energize church youth groups, and many more will be discipled to change our nation and the world."
Twelve of the largest campus ministries, including Cru, Intervarsity, Navigators, Chi Alpha, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), and Young Life College have joined this project.
"The level of commitment and enthusiasm of national college ministries has been exciting and humbling," president and founder of Campus Renewal, Jeremy Story, said. "Sending out more college graduates throughout society as influencers for Christ is critical. Campus Ministry Link will be a significant part of this."
Campus Ministry Link will also give Christian freshmen tools to share the gospel with non-believers on campus.
Bob Weiner is the president of Weiner Ministries International which has ministries on 150 campuses in 20 nations.
"I have longed to reverse the tragedy where 70% of our precious graduating youth walk away from their faith when they enter college," he said. "I believe this will change America more than any project I have seen."