Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Full of Faith: Adam Copeland on “Wrestling with Faith and College”

by Särah Nour | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Writer's Block | January 28th, 2015

It was two weeks ago today that Adam Copeland, Concordia professor and director of theological inquiry, held a reading at Zandbroz Variety for his book “Kissing in the Chapel, Praying in the Frat House: Wrestling with Faith and College.” This event included free food, coffee and wine, along with copies available for sale.

Copeland’s book, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers back in December, is a collection of essays written by students in their 20snationwide. For his audience at Zandbroz, Copeland described the three-year process of collecting and readying these essays for publication.

“About three years ago, Concordia posted a new position online, it was called the Faculty Director for Faith and Leadership,” Copeland said. “About that time I was thinking that my ideal position would be teaching practical theology at some sort of higher education institution that also cared about the church.”

When being interviewed for the position, he was asked what his area of research would be. His response was that he’d like to augment generational research finds on millennials and their relationship with organized religion.

“I had this go-to presentation about millennials and their faith,” he explained, “in reference to the hottest generational theory about millennials: that they mistrust institutions, that they never get married, that they spend half their lives on Facebook, that they can text-message faster than other generations can think … And above all, they have this relationship with religion that emphasizes spirituality, but that is reticent of the institutional church.”

After succeeding in getting the job, Copeland put out a call for submissions on his blog. He received thousands of hits and over 50 submissions, which were narrowed down to 21 for the final product.

At the reading, Copeland read a few excerpts, starting with an essay in the section titled “Who am I? Who is God? What am I to do? Stories of Call.” This essay was written by a Duke University student about how she arrived at college expecting God to reveal His plan for her so she could choose her major. But when the revelation still hadn’t arrived in her sophomore year, she began taking matters into her own hands.

“One of the things students wrestle with is expectations,” Copeland said. “They come to college with all these preconceptions, and sometimes — well usually — those preconceptions aren’t lived out exactly in their college experience. So a lot of dealing with working through faith is building up resiliency, encountering new perspectives and addressing that change.”

He then read another excerpt from the section “Sex and Sexuality,” which details challenges with sexual orientation, gender identity and overcoming the trauma of sexual assault.

The essay selected was written by a gay UND student who struggled to reconcile his sexuality with his conservative Lutheran upbringing. In college he became depressed and withdrawn, prompting his friends to get him drunk in an attempt to make him admit what was wrong. To his relief, he was met with acceptance when he finally told them.

Other themes explored in this collection include overcoming mental illness, studying abroad, learning about different religions and challenging long-held ideologies.

“I wanted the book to include a wide variety of experiences with faith and college,” Copeland said “so I was careful I’d never censor students’ experiences.”

Copeland is currently working toward his PhD in rhetoric, writing and culture at NDSU. Among other publications, his writing has appeared in The Christian Century, WorkingPreacher.org, The Huffington Post and in 10 books.

Recently in:

BISMARCK – The North Dakota Attorney General’s office announced Friday it is suing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for gross negligence and tortious acts during the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy in 2016.The state has…

The 45th Annual Downtown Fargo Street Fair has been making efforts to increase the number of local vendors. The Local Block will be located at the north end of the 300 block on Broadway, near the Fargo Theatre.The High Plains…

Thursday, July 26 at 5 p.m.-midnightFargo Brewing Company, 610 N University, FargoHip hop artist, community activist, and member of Rhymesayers, Brother Ali will appear with Nooky Jones at The Fargo Brewing Company. Nooky Jones was…

With all of the excitement surrounding the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana, why aren’t we discussing the possibilities of industrial hemp? You might not catch a buzz from it but there’s all kinds of other…

“Hi Ho, Hi Ho! It’s Off To Work We Go!”How many undocumented workers are in the United States? Estimates range from 11 to 25 million. We need some history to understand why our immigration laws are in such a mess. The most…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

All About Food

​Food truck fever

by HPR Contributor

By Ben Myhrebenmyhre35@gmail.comHave you all been to Taco Brothers Taco Truck yet? Or how about Poke Bowl Food Truck? Have you tried the Walleye Wrap at Chef Mobile? There may have been a few mobile food establishments in decades…

We had a chance to chat with Duluth native Gaelynn Lea at Winnipeg Folk Festival. Not only did she tell us how she developed her sound she told us about her experience winning the NPR Tiny Desk Concert and the trials and…

Boots Riley hallucinates a wildly funny feature debut with “Sorry to Bother You,” a sharp-fanged social satire that mashes up the innovative handmade aesthetics of Michel Gondry with the fierce truth-to-power consciousness of…

Arts

Dan Mihuta: The Art Maker

by HPR Contributor

By Rod Hadland rodanthonyhadland@gmail.comThe name Mr. Mihuta may not be familiar, but for most of my life, I’ve known that name. There was a television show where Mr. Mihuta taught art projects, in various mediums, that I…

Theatre

Xanadu: The Musical

by HPR Contributor

By Tayler Klimektklimek@cord.eduGet ready to dive into a world full of demi-gods, mythological creatures, and plenty of disco balls when you see Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater’s exciting first show of its 72nd season:…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

Once a year, fans of beer in the FM area have access to what their heart desires... bragging rights. The Rare Beer Picnic grants beer aficionados the ability to taste whatever their heart desires from their favorite beer…

Best Local CelebrityCarson WentzBest Stylist / BarberJed Felix, Everett’s BarbershopBest Salon / Barber ShopEverett’s BarbershopBest Tattoo Parlor46 & 2 TattooBest Tattoo ArtistMeg Felix, No Coast TattooBest Gift ShopZandbroz…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.edu Recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.- The United Nations…