Thriving at College

Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World! by Alex Chediak



“All the things I speak to college students about are here: maintaining your faith, developing nurturing friendships, having wisdom in relationships, becoming mature, finding balance, growing in spiritual maturity, seizing opportunities. A must-read for kids headed to college and those already there.”

– Tedd Tripp, best-selling author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart

“College represents one of the most strategic transitional moments in the lives of most young Christians. Alex Chediak offers solid advice and counsel in Thriving at College. In this book, he provides good wisdom and sound practical advice to young Christians seeking to navigate the world of higher education while simultaneously maturing into faithful Christians.”

– Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Thriving at College is an outstanding book for college students. Written by an “insider” – a former student, now a professor, this book addresses all the issues a student might face. It will be an excellent gift for all high school seniors who are planning to attend college.”

– Dr. Jerry Bridges, Author of The Pursuit of Holiness

“A common sense approach to ten common mistakes concerning time management, sex, grades, relationships with parents, and others things that might seem simple but rarely are. Alex Chediak rightly avoids extremes and emphasizes a balanced life.”

– Dr. Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, WORLD

“Many in my generation look back on their college years with regrets, wishing we had been more intentional and focused during our time on campus. Alex Chediak’s book would have helped us. Like a skilled mountain guide leading through potentially treacherous terrain, he wisely and effectively helps students understand how to get the most out of their time inside and outside of the college classroom. Before you invest four years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars, spend a few dollars and a few hours to read this book.”

– Bob Lepine, Co-Host FamilyLife Today

“Almost every church, if not every family, knows the story of the promising kid who went off to college and wrecked his life. Some, on the verge of college, might look at such examples and wonder, ‘Is that what will happen to me?’ Alex Chediak is a trusted guide on how to be educated without unsanctified.”

-Dr. Russell Moore, Senior Vice-President and Dean, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“As a pastor in a college town, I have the privilege of working with college students all the time. I welcome the chance to get Thriving at College into as many of their hands as I can manage. If just a small fraction of the scriptural counsel offered here were to be put into practice, more than a small fraction of my pastoral migraines would go away. And who wouldn’t want that?”

-Douglas Wilson, Pastor, Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho

Author of Letter from a Christian Citizen, The Case for Classical Christian Education

“Alex Chediak’s goal is to spare college-bound young people from entering college thoughtlessly and then drifting after they are there. The book has all the right ingredients to meet that goal for anyone who reads it. The book has two great strengths. The topics that Chediak puts on the table are a veritable guide to the college experience. Secondly, Chediak writes about these topics engagingly, with good sense, and thoughtfully. I can commend the book by saying to young people headed for college: Don’t leave home without it.”

– Dr. Leland Ryken, Professor, Wheaton College

Author of Redeeming the Time: A Christian Approach to Work and Leisure

“Since my oldest son is getting ready to tackle college in a couple years, I’m super grateful for Alex Chediak’s book. Writing from the perspective of both a parent and a professor, Dr. Chediak presents a practical guide on how students can spiritually and intellectually thrive during their college years. In clear, concise, and compelling ways he tackles the issues students will inevitably encounter, showing how both the obstacles and opportunities can serve to develop character that will last a lifetime. This book will be required reading for all three of my children.”

– Tullian Tchividjian, Senior Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, FL

Author of Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different

“When Alex Chediak talks about Thriving at College, he speaks from experience. After all, he’s spent a lot of time on campus: from undergrad to professor. Yet he’s also been involved for many years in college and singles ministry. Put all of that together, along with a wide knowledge of Scripture, and you have the ideal Author of a really helpful book. However, this book lacks a lot that one might expect, like a condescending tone, easy formulas, and clichés. Thriving at College is full of wisdom on every major aspect of this wonderful episode in the life of many people today: spiritual, relational, ethical, and even economic.”

– Dr. Michael Horton, J. G. Machen Professor of Theology, Westminster Seminary California

Author of The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way

“Most Christian young people go to college without specific goals, and are unprepared for the challenges that await them. While some prosper spiritually, most get derailed, and an alarming number abandon their faith, probably because they didn’t have their own faith in the first place. Alex Chediak has written an insightful and useful book to help college-bound people know what to expect, how to prepare for it, and what to do to avoid the pitfalls. He offers great insights on everything from friendships to dating relationships to professors. Alex addresses time and money management, character development, grades, work, rest and the danger of passivity. I enjoyed reading this well-written book, and recommend it wholeheartedly not only to young people but also to their parents and church leaders.”

– Randy Alcorn, Bestselling Author of Heaven and If God is Good

“The college campus has become the pulpit of a postmodern, humanistic worldview. Christian collegians are largely unaware of the challenges of living for Christ in such an environment that is hostile to the gospel. Alex Chediak has written a much-needed how to manual for navigating the dangers of the college years as well as excelling spiritually, academically, and personally during this chapter of life. I know of nothing like it. High School students, collegians, and parents will all profit from this volume.”

– Dr. Rick Holland, Executive Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, CA

“Alex Chediak’s Thriving at College promises to help, strengthen, encourage, guide and even salvage many Christian college students who need precisely what this book offers. Parents of pre-college teens, and college students themselves, will benefit much from the wisdom, warnings, and winsomeness of this book. And even more important than this, kingdom purposes will be better accomplished by those who read and apply what they learn here. For the glory of God and good of our youth, may God be pleased to use this book in many, many lives.”

– Dr. Bruce A. Ware Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“The college or university experience need not be a minefield for Christians in our day. It can and should be an unparalleled launching pad into a life characterized by professional excellence, relational maturity, God-oriented obedience, and increasing stewardship in their corner (big or little) of God’s kingdom. Alex Chediak’s book Thriving at College will help young men and women prepare for and thrive in their college years. It will help them resist the pervasive tendency to drift into adulthood as intellectually and spiritually lazy overgrown adolescents. It will equip them to view their entire lives as belonging to God, and to take seriously the opportunity that college affords to develop their talents into useful competencies, to become oaks of righteousness, and to nurture life-transforming relationships. I highly recommend it.”

– Alexander Strauch, Pastor-Teacher, Littleton Bible Chapel, Littleton, CO

Author of Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church Eldership

“Thriving at College, by Alex Chediak, is a significant how-to volume to help new college students and their families prepare for and adjust to the numerous transitions that accompany the college experience. Few writers have so helpfully combined the multi-faceted challenges involved in this most significant life step. Chediak offers wise counsel for students and their families regarding academics, student life, spiritual development, intellectual engagement, relationships, and time management. While there is no “one size fits all” for the diverse experiences of college students, many will find Thriving at College to be immensely helpful.”

– Dr. David S. Dockery, President, Union University, Jackson, TN

“A handbook of practical wisdom for the would-be college student. Chediak expertly navigates the competing callings of undergraduate life, shedding light on what it means both to ‘love God with all your mind’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ This book is an essential summer read for every incoming freshman.”

– Dr. Gene Veith, Provost and Professor of Literature, Patrick Henry College

Author of Loving God With All Your Mind and God at Work

“Having myself sent two daughters off to college with all the fears and uncertainty that a parent feels, I am thrilled with what Alex Chediak has accomplished in this vitally important book. I only wish I had it sooner! Alex is keenly aware of both the potentialities and problems that come with college life and has provided both students and parents with a wonderful and extremely practical resource in preparation for that experience. Having taught in a Christian liberal arts college, I can testify to the struggles that students face, which makes me all the more excited about now being able to place in their hands this superb book. I highly recommend it.”

– Dr. Sam Storms, President, Enjoying God Ministries, Edmond, OK

“College can be the best years of your life (so far). So take Dr. Chediak’s wise, comprehensive advice and flourish at college to the glory of God!”

– Collin Hansen, Editorial director, The Gospel Coalition

Co-Author of A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories That Stretch and Stir

“Why didn’t they have anything like this when I was going to college? Alex Chediak’s book Thriving at College is packed with wise counsel to guide you through the tricky waters as you launch into adulthood. It’s almost like having a mentor or coach right there with you, helping to guide, steer, encourage and inspire you. Who wouldn’t want that?”

– Sally Lloyd-Jones, Best-Selling Author of The Jesus Storybook Bible

“There is a battle raging on every college campus in throughout the world. It is a battle over the hearts and minds of those who will be society’s leaders in the next generation. In this vital book, Dr. Chediak offers much needed counsel to parents, professors, pastors, and students at every level of college education. This book provides students a wise and balanced approach to the entire college experience. If you are worried about sending your children to college, you will find this book to be a most helpful resource to guide you, and to help you guide your children through the often difficult and confusing years of college.”

– Burk Parsons, Associate Pastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, FL

Editor, Tabletalk magazine

“As a college professor Alex sees college students abandoning their faith from a front row seat. This book is written by a practitioner that desperately wants to see these young men and women place their full affections on Christ. This book would make a great gift for high school graduates or anyone in college.”

– Steve Wright, Pastor of Parent & Family Discipleship Ministries Providence Baptist Church, Raleigh, NC

Author of Rethink

“For many Christians, the college years often become a black hole where their faith disappears while they either party hearty or immerse themselves in academic pursuits. Some students seem to lose their faith altogether, or misplace it for a decade only to find it, tattered and a bit torn, when they enter ‘real life. Alex Chediak shows us a better way in Thriving at College. Blending his experience as a student and a professor with a deep understanding of biblical principles, he demonstrates that college ought to be a time of bracing spiritual and personal growth. And to his credit he doesn’t shy away from the perplexing questions surrounding sex and dating and the pressures twentysomething Christians often feel. Thriving at College will help Christian students approach the college years with confidence. And if they follow its wise counsel, they will graduate four years later with a degree and their faith made even stronger.”

– Dr. Ray Pritchard, President, Keep Believing Ministries, Elmhurst, IL

Author of An Anchor for the Soul, The Healing Power of Forgiveness, Stealth Attack

“For many young believers, college has proven to be toxic to both belief and behavior. The vast majority of Christian students who enter college are ill-prepared for the worldview challenges and personal temptations they will encounter. Alex Chediak’s Thriving at College is a welcome resource that will equip high school graduates to be faithful and flourish in their academic pursuits, personal character, and relationships. This is a clearly written and comprehensive guide that should be given to every follower of Jesus who plans to go to college.”

– Dr. Kenneth Boa, Author of Conformed to His Image, An Unchanging Faith in a Changing World, Faith Has Its Reasons

“As a young college professor, Alex Chediak, is uniquely qualified to address a troubling trend among the next generation of leaders. Thriving at College proves to be an invaluable resource for college students not only to survive college but to thrive in college. Alex successfully integrates Biblical wisdom with personal anecdotes offering a compelling resource sure to help thousands of young people navigate the challenging college years.”

– Colin Creel, Dean of Junior Boys, Wesleyan School, Norcross, GA

Author of Crossroads: Navigating your Calling and Career & Perspectives: A Spiritual Life Guide for Twentysomethings

“Thriving at College is every parent’s prayer for their kids and every student’s intention when they begin. This resource is an important guide to that process for those who want to make the most of a very large investment. The wisdom in this may not always be easy to hear and students may not accept it all immediately, nonetheless, buy this book for someone you love. They will likely pass it on to their children 25 years from now.”

– Dr. Erik Hoekstra, Provost, Dordt College

“In his lively, clear, and candid way, Alex Chediak assists college students navigate through a maze of challenges, including those related to faith, dating, friends, studying, independence, money, schedules, classes, professors, and more. Students will enjoy reading it and find wisdom in every chapter. Parents, pastors, youth leaders, and college ministers will consider it an answer to prayer and a resource to give their students.”

– Dr. Christopher W. Morgan, Associate Dean and Professor of Theology, California Baptist University

Author of A Theology of James: Wisdom for God’s People

“As a college student, the book Thriving at College has allowed me to prepare for the exact issues I would face in college. It’s filled with advice on topics that I have encountered as a college student and has provided me insight as well as wisdom on how to deal with these specific issues. Having just started college seven weeks ago, this book has already begun enhancing my experience. It is an encouragement to keep rooted in my faith and to live my college life in a godly and effective manner.”

– Alyssa Chen, U.C. Berkeley, class of 2014

“Even though I have only been in college for one semester, I have already faced many difficult situations involving relationships, academics, and my faith. Thriving at College offered advice that really helped me work through these problems while keeping me rooted in the truth of God’s call for my life. This book has been an encouragement and a source of wisdom while I adjust to life at college.”

– Grace Perkins, Miami University of Ohio, class of 2014


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