Gannon University prides itself on opportunities for students to grow in their academic, personal and spiritual lives. An integral part of this is through the Campus Ministry office.
For many students, the staff members and events provide a sense of community amidst the stressors of academic life.
Sister Carmen Haemmerle, Campus Ministry pastoral minister, believes that Campus Ministry assists students in ways beyond what is visibly seen.
“Campus Ministry impacts in many ways we can’t measure,” Haemmerle said. “It impacts them on a personal level and spiritually. You can’t measure it with numbers.”
Whether it is attending traditional Mass, finding community in Bible study or personally praying, there are a multitude of options for students. Last year, Sister Carmen started “Ten Minutes of Prayer,” a time for students to meet in Mary, Seat of Wisdom chapel and reflect in silence and prayer.
“I wanted an opportunity for students to pray and feel like it’s normal,” she said. “They can pray as a community of students and find a connection between faith and daily living.”
For other students, the office has provided a means to grow in their leadership capabilities. Student leader Michael Guo, a junior biology major, believes that Campus Ministry has helped him and many others grow in their faith.
“I think Campus Ministry is good for those who do not have a sense of religious community and they can share the same faith.”
And for those who may not have a similar faith background, they are still very welcome at all events.
“I feel like Campus Ministry has bridged the gap between Catholicism and my Protestant faith,” says Julia Ferringer, a senior occupational therapy major. Overall, Campus Ministry provides many ways to grow in spirit and community.
For first-year students, weekly Bible studies within the residence halls are led by resident campus ministers on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
Also, the director of Campus Ministry, Brent Heckman, personally hosts “Smoothing the Soul,” in North Hall. Fellow resident campus minister Emily Muntean hosts “Conversations that Matter” in Finegan Hall. Both events are held on Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
For older students, retreats provide off-campus opportunities to dive deeper into their spiritual life. Metanoia, an upperclassmen retreat, is held once each semester and is led by previous student participants. Metanoia 11 will be Nov. 16-18 and applications are still open for students to apply.
For students of all ages, two events, Theology on Tap and The Well, provide periodic outlets. Once a month, Theology on Tap gathers students at local establishments to listen to guest speakers and hold intense conversations about deeper topics.
Alongside this, the Well is an event providing time for ecumenical worship and discussion.
Both events take place Monday nights, with Theology on Tap groups meeting at 8:30 p.m. at the front desk of the Waldron Campus Center and The Well meeting at 8 p.m. in Room 219 of Waldron.
Personal faith-sharing groups include both Ichthi, the Catholic faith group, and Restore, the Protestant group.
With so much to offer students, the Campus Ministry office is key to pushing forward Gannon’s mission of holistic growth during a student’s college experience.
Heckman said he hopes that students find something to suit their needs.
“I know that we offer a lot of opportunities for spiritual engagement and within that I don’t expect that everyone would find everything we do to be appealing, but I do hope and expect that everyone can find something meaningful to them,” Heckman said.
Take a leap of faith and explore how Campus Ministry can impact you.
For more information on Campus Ministry events, contact the office, located in Waldron.
By Rachel Nye