What Book Should A Graduate Read

I had a good friend from back in the day email me and ask me a pretty common question.  Working with College Students, I’ll occasionally hear from friends, and pastors who are curious as to different ways to influence and train up their students.  I’m completely honored that they would ask… so, here is my response:

I have a question for you…
The senior guys (and girls) Bible study is wanting some suggestions for a study for the fall. They are interested in learning, “How to become a godly man.” I know this is pretty broad. The group is made up of some very smart, very bright, mature believers. About half are kids who have grown up in Christian homes and have a good foundational faith. The other half are all guys who have become believers in the past two years and are very excited and eager to grow in their faith, but they have no family support.

Also…anything that could help transitions them to college?

The guys and girls are hoping to do a study together – but I am looking into girl studies and I didn’t know if you had a suggestions for either a study or a book to read through.

Any suggestions would be great!


Okay – This is going to sound super cheesy… but THE BEST BIBLE STUDY for students about to enter College is well…. the BIBLE. I know I know… super super cheesy – but it’s true. I would maybe take them through 1 Timothy for it’s right there that they’ll be confronted with who they are, Who they should live their live for, what matters, and how to not waste their lives. 1 Timothy 4 is especially formative.  I would even go as far to suggest that they get an ESV Bible. They have some of the best options for Bibles: Journal Bibles, Study Bibles, Bibles-so-cool-they-fit-in-your-back-pocket-and-feel-really-cool, etc. You can buy them all HERE.  Or just read it online HERE.

I might even encourage them all to go through a book of the Bible together; journal what they read throughout the week and then the ‘study’ time on that particular night is a time to share what God has shown them during that week. This brings accountability, journaling, studying Scripture on a daily basis, prayer – ESSENTIAL disciplines to survive/thrive in college.

That being said: a couple of other suggestions in regards to personal growth and then possibly group discussion/study.

For Personal Devotion:
The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer (this book has impacted me more than I’d like to admit… perspective changer).
Living the Cross Centered Life, CJ Mahaney (I give this book away as much as possible… students need to understand the gospel and live it – this book has that at it’s aim).

For Group Study/Transition to College:
Twentysomeone, Craig Dunham and Doug Serven (this was one of the first books that turned my heart to the collegiate generation).
Don’t Waste Your Life, John Piper (everybody should read this book – if not for the title alone)… IN FACT, there are tons of stuff at dontwasteyourlife.com.
Crazy Love, Francis Chan (this book will make you fall in love with Jesus and what he’s done for us more and more and more).

Hope these books help along the way!