RELIGIOUS LIFE: Christianity on Campus
Religious life on campus has always been around for Southwestern University students. There are multiple things to do when it comes to your religion. YoungLife, Tuesday night worship, and multiple other off-campus bible studies are some of the Christian non-denominational, religious life events. If you’re interested or even just curious, everyone is welcome to join.
YoungLife is a worldwide Christian organization found in 99 different countries. There are multiple camps across the U.S. for YoungLife. YoungLife reaches out to all ages, but there are specific clubs for high school and college students. Off campus, many of our fellow students go out to high schools and create relationships with younger students in order to help them explore their relationship with Jesus. In college, the new College Leaders create groups with first-year men and women. These groups normally last throughout their college careers. For example, when students Moriah Wheeler and Sydney Hubbard were freshmen, they joined YoungLife and became College Leaders. The next year, as sophomores, Sydney and Moriah created a group with Southwestern’s female freshmen reaching out to anyone who wanted to come. Now, as Juniors, Sydney and Moriah still lead that same group and successfully continue the community they created. While the groups are generally made with freshmen, anyone is allowed to join at any time they like, or go to a bible study if they are interested. These groups help students create a close-knit set of friends and a support group they can rely on. Not only are there Young Life Girl/Guy groups, but there is also “Club” where all the students involved in YoungLife attend, play games, and talk about Jesus together. Everyone is welcome to join YoungLife.
While Young Life creates small communities and close friends, Tuesday Night Worship brings everyone together. Tuesday Night Worship is just as it sounds, singing worship songs in the chapel every Tuesday night at 9 pm. Seniors Tori Carraway, David Hill, and Greg McDade are up on the chapel stage just about every Tuesday night singing and playing worship songs. The time of worship creates a sense of community, while also giving students a time to connect with Jesus and take their minds off of whatever is happening during the semester. This year, TNW has been looking for new singers, instrumentalists and “tech” people―mostly to help set up, tear down, and to make the slideshows―to join since most of the band is graduating. Currently, Freshman Maddie Medford, Freshman Colt Smith, Junior Sarah Barton, and Sophomore Endrea Daniels, all contribute to Tuesday Night Worship. However, they are still looking for more people that are able to help out and be a part of the process.
Students of Southwestern have also created multiple bible studies with the help of their churches or just on their own. Rooted is a bible study series held every Tuesday at 8pm in the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life, and has become a place for men and women to come together to discuss the works within the Bible. Another student-run Bible study called Real Talk, which is modern topics talked about through a biblical lens, is run by Elijah Timms and Hannah Mitchell. It meets every Friday in the Commons from 12-1 pm.
Finally FCA, the Fellowship for Christian Athletes, meets in the ballrooms above the commons on Wednesday nights (or sometimes in DLC). All athletes are welcome to join, or anyone at all! There is usually worship as well as a guest speaker. There have been multiple speakers who have come to join them on special occasions such as Brad Couley, a Youth Minister from Cameron, Texas. Couley talks about what Jesus did for us, and how to cultivate a relationship with God.
It is encouraged for people to try out these groups, even to just say hello. These folks are ready for new people to join, and will welcome others with open arms. Students are encouraged to try new things in the classroom and outside of the classroom. These groups are a great way to explore faith, religion, and the type of people you would like to be surrounded by. Come as you are, and test what it is like to be a part of such a growing community here at Southwestern.