FROM SINGLE TO SERIOUS: Relationships, Gender, and Sexuality on Evangelical Campuses

Reviewed byMegan Alms, a Professional Writing Major at Taylor University.



Title SINGLE TO SERIOUS: Relationships, Gender, and Sexuality on Evangelical Campuses

Author: Dana M. Malone

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

Publication Date2018

FormatPrint book

Length240 pages


     An evangelical college campus is a mosaic of conflicting ideals, especially concerning sexuality. Peers at secular schools say sex activity is casual. Christian professors say sex is holy and restrained. Parents say premarital sex is prohibited altogether. The mixing of these ideals results in a confused, conflicted student body. So, how are relationships approached by students who attend evangelical universities?

     In From Single to Serious, Dana M. Malone investigates this question. Her book is the result of a personal case study in which Malone talked face-to-face with students to discover their beliefs, opinions, worries, feelings, and concerns. Her questions to students were specific. What expectations do college relationships carry? How are relationships formed? How do relationships impact religion, and vice versa?

     Malone’s conclusions are directly drawn from student interviews, resulting in a very accurate description of relationship culture within evangelical campuses. Her conclusions are backed by quotations from students expressing their observations of college dating. She references familiar campus lingo such as “MRS degree,” “freshman frenzy,” and “ring by spring” used by students in describing relationships. Her conclusions are conversational and make the student subjects three-dimensional to the reader, as if personally sitting in on the group discussions.

     This study addresses the important, personal matters of relationships. Malone asked students what expectations they felt the need to conform to within relationships when under the watchful eyes of peers and campus faculty. She was sure to gain the perspectives of both men and women and learn the effects they felt from these expectations. The study also shows what happens beyond these expectations: what are students really thinking and doing?

     This study boldly approaches a topic that many find too sensitive to discuss. Malone embraces real questions and gets to the heart of a culture that has yet to be heard from.


Rating (1 to 5)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Faculty, administration, staff, and parents of students attending an evangelical university

Christian Impact

Gives insights into the subculture of evangelical universities and explores the perspective of young people in terms of sexuality


Other Notes: The results of the study are followed by notes, references, an index, and two appendices describing the research methodology.


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From Single to Serious: Relationships, Gender, and Sexuality on American Evangelical Campuses (The American Campus)

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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