Christian author Mike Kipp has co-authored his first book for a secular audience: "Surviving Your First Year of College."

"I'm sure my faith comes through, but I'm not trying to encourage anyone to go to a Christian university," says Kipp. "In fact, I caution people: Christian schools often have a lifestyle agreement."

Along with his co-author, wife Sandy Kipp, the Northwest Nazarene professor leads students through a step-by-step process of navigating freshman year: from packing for the dorm, to discussing budgets with parents.

"There's a lot of just practical, pragmatic advice: Here's how you get along in class, here's how you make it through your first semester, here's how to set up your dorm room with just the right amount of stuff," says Kipp.

And he isn't the least bit preachy, especially when it comes to academics:


"One of my fellow professors said that, 'college is about 10 percent studies and 90 percent living life.' I love that! But the thing is you've got to get that 10 percent right. You don't have to be a great student, but you have to be just good enough to keep your scholarships, grants, or to just pass."

A recurring theme in "Surviving" is coping with a prolonged transition between adolescence and adulthood.

"The world has shifted significantly. In 1980 about 60 percent of private firms had a pension plan. About 15 years later less than 10 percent had one. Plus, you need more and more education just to get a job," says Kipp. "So people put off adult decisions: marriage, kids, owning a home. Everything is delayed, and that needs to be discussed in a serious way."

Latest From ...