Students Aim To Nurture Spirit As Well As Mind
9, 2001-- Contradicting the stereotype that college
life involves more partying than praying, many University of Virginia
students do show a serious interest in their spirituality. April's
major religious holidays highlight students' year-round involvement
with organizations that round out this part of their campus life.
with Fellow Believers
of the most popular outlets for spiritual exploration on U.Va.'s
Grounds are the numerous student-run religious groups. During the
2000-2001 school year, the Student Council officially recognized
at least four such organizations, bringing the total to 35.
new group reflects a desire to model religious beliefs in the professional
world. Nurses Christian Fellowship "provides an opportunity
to learn more about spiritual issues on a personal level as well
providing spiritual care to patients," says member
newly recognized organization Tuesday Praise began in the fall of
1998 with three students meeting to pray and sing Christian worship
songs. Now every Tuesday night 125 to 300 students gather. "Tuesday
Praise gives students a chance to extol the Father through praise
songs, scripture and prayer," says president Stephen Phelan.
organizations like the Greater Hillel Council, the Muslim Students
Association and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship report general
membership increases over the past three years. Part of their appeal
is rooted in attention to religious traditions. Student Melinda
Moshell credits Hillel for "providing a spiritual place for
Jewish students to pray on Shabbat and High Holidays."
more information, contacts include Woodruff at firstname.lastname@example.org,
Phelan at email@example.com,
Hillel via Moshell at firstname.lastname@example.org,
the Muslim Students
via Bilal Aslam at email@example.com,
and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Tripp1000@juno.com.
fall the Center for Christian Study hosted the "Veritas Forum,"
a conference aimed at refuting arguments often used against Christianity.
Crowds of approximately 350 students attended each of the four sessions.
Burzumato, director of undergraduate ministries for the Center for
Christian Study, believes the high-attendance numbers show U.Va.
students are grappling with faith issues. "Many college-aged
women and men are seeking meaning in their lives that does not necessarily
begin and end with themselves," he said.
conference "was a good way for students to come and hear thinking
Christians speak to topics which have been troubling for many moderns,
both inside and outside of the Christian church," Burzumato
more information, contact Burzumato at (804) 817-1050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
offers another means of spiritual fulfillment for some students,
who often assist in service projects sponsored by religious groups.
Certain causes hit particularly close to home. After Indias
devastating January earthquake, the Hindu Students Council, along
with the Indian Student Association, launched a drive to raise relief
volunteer group Nursing Students Without Borders brings students
to third-world communities to teach and provide basic health care.
"I hope we all come away with an even deeper appreciation for
the community we are fortunate to live in, while appreciating our
own potential," said Nursing Students Without Borders founder
more information about Nursing Students Without Borders, contact
Walden at (804) 964-6997 or email@example.com.
Jessica Tyree, (804) 924-7116