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Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House

Wrestling with Faith and College

Edited by Adam J. Copeland - Contributions by Taylor Brorby; Mary Ellen Jebbia; Brandan J. Robertson; Kristi Del Vecchio; Lydia Hawkins; Rick Reiten; Hillary Martinez; Anna DeWeese; AndrewAmanda Leigh-Bullard; Agnes Potamian; Michelle Johnson; Kyle J. Thorson; Allison Chubb; Michael Casey W. Woolf; Lauren Deidra Sawyer; Br. Lawrence A. Whitney; Andrea Campo; Johnna Purchase; Edward Anderson; Joseph Paillé and Steven James Porter

College is a time to learn, explore, and grow, but what does faith have to do with it? In this collection of essays, gifted writers in their twenties and early thirties reflect on their college years by telling stories—some hilarious, some heart-wrenching—on the intersection of faith and college.

At a time when so much is written
about young adults but not by young adults, this collection allows writers to reveal their college experience in their own voice, sharing, through reflection on their own joys and sorrows, unique insight into students’ experience of college. Themes include negotiating identity, sex and sexuality, discerning the future, studying abroad, and transitions in faith.

This collection includes stories from large public universities and small, faith-related colleges. Perfect for faith leaders, college administrators, study groups, young adults, and anyone who loves a college student,
Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House reveals college struggles that help us reflect on faith and life in college, and forever.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Alban Books
Pages: 216Size: 6 x 9
978-1-56699-765-2 • Hardback • December 2014 • $42.00 • (£27.95)
978-1-56699-730-0 • Paperback • December 2014 • $18.00 • (£11.95)
978-1-56699-731-7 • eBook • December 2014 • $17.00 • (£10.95)
Adam Copeland is the faculty director for faith and leadership and instructor of religion at Concordia College. He is working towards his PhD at the North Dakota State University after earning his M.Div from Columbia Theological Seminary and his BA from St. Olaf College.
Table of Contents


Section I: (A)Tradition: Come, Ye Disconsolate

1. Let the Whole Creation Cry: On Learning Hymns
Taylor Brorby

2. We Are All Prophets
Mary Ellen Jebbia

3. How Bible College Caused Me to Lose My Faith (and Find It Again)
Brandan Robertson

4. After Prayerful Consideration: Becoming a Religious Atheist
Kristi Del Vecchio

Section II: Who am I? Who is God? What am I to do? Stories of Call

5. Studying, Praying, Seeking: A Spiritual Tapestry
Lydia Hawkins

6. Why in God’s Name am I Here?
Rick Reiten

7. Living in the Center of God’s Will
Hillary Martinez

8. An Unwilling Pilgrim: An Angry Young Woman’s Faith Journey in College
Anna DeWeese

Section III: Sex and Sexuality: One Body, Many Members

9. The Harm of Keeping Silent: Secret Romance on an Evangelical Campus
Steven Porter

10. Through the Grave: A Story of Transition and Resurrection
Andrew Leigh Amanda LeAnn
11. As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us
Agnes Potamian

12. Intertwining Cycles
Michelle Johnson

13. Out of the Closet and Back to Church
Kyle J. Thorson

Section IV: Walking with Others (Or, Sometimes, Running From Them)

14. Blossoms in the Desert
Allison Chubb

15. Finding God on Frat Row
Michael Casey W. Woolf

16. Three Parties
Lauren Deidra Sawyer

17. Faith Transforms in Times of Crisis
Lawrence A. Whitney

Section V: Studying Off-Campus, Studying Within

18. Christians Suffer From Depression Too
Andrea Campo

19. The Dating Game: God, Ireland, and One Woman of Little Faith
Johnna Purchase

20. Death and Life
Edward Anderson

21. Strange Benediction
Joseph Paillé

About the Contributors

Copeland’s book steps beyond studies about Millenials and offers a view 'on the ground' of the dynamic, honest wrestling of young adults today around issues of faith in college. The essayists’ animated stories put flesh on the dry bones of cultural assumptions about faith in college, and remind us of the importance of spiritual engagement and self-reflection during these formative years. Copeland’s book offers a window into unique and real college faith experiences that has value for students, parents, pastors, and the church at large!
Rev. Katie Owen Aumann, Presbyterian Campus Minister, Duke University

Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House is a great collective work first and foremost because it is full of fresh and diverse voices that belong to actual members of the Millennial Generation. While this book, like many others about young people, certainly captures the mixture of excitement and pain that comes with one's self discovery in young adulthood, the ferociously honest way with which it addresses faith, religion, and spirituality is what separates it from the rest.
Rob Fohr, Mission Catalyst, Presbyterian Mission Agency

So many these days are in search of and yearning for voices that are real, authentic, and true. That is why this book is such a treasure. It is real. The voices here are authentic, compelling, and convicting. It is long past time for us to actually hear from these young adults instead of about them. It is long past time for us to do exactly what these young adults are both illustrating and calling forth from us.
Rodger Y. Nishioka, Columbia Theological Seminary

Young adults are a wonderful, confusing, energized, questioning, messy group of people and this collection of essays digs deeply into their experiences of faith and meaning-making in college contexts. This is a wonderful book to read and to share, and one which nourished my own faith and gave me some hope for the future of communities of faith.
Mary E. Hess Ph.D, Luther Seminary

This [is an] absorbing, diverse anthology . . . In 21 essays, young men and women in their 20s and 30s reflect on their college experience with faith, exploring a wide range of subjects—from Kristi Del Vecchio’s socially-minded humanism to Edward Anderson’s reflections on the powerful ways a religious upbringing can both shape and challenge a young person’s attempt to discover faith on his own terms. The most outstanding essays appear in the section on 'Sex and Sexuality,' every one of these extraordinarily, even painfully, honest. The authors movingly describe their intimate experiences as they deal with some complicated topics, made even more so for persons of faith (coming out as gay, being transgender, and the trauma of sexual assault, among them). Copeland includes a set of discussion questions at the end of each essay that will be useful for youth ministry groups and classes.
Publishers Weekly

Distinguishing Features:

  • Collection of essays by 20-somethings

  • Allows for the authentic stories of college and faith to be shared

  • Insight into what it’s like to be a college student today

  • Questions for discussion included after each essay

  • Essays run the gambit: funny, sad, shocking, and inspirational