Navigating Your Faith at a Public University

Take Me To Church (VCU STYLE)

As I began to make my decisions for which college to go to, I received a lot of feedback from my Christian Youth Leaders and peers. I heard things like, “Go to a Christian college, It will help you grow in your faith,” or, “Public university professors will try to tell you God is not real,” or, “There will be so many horrible temptations and negative influences at a public university.”

Hearing these things left me feeling pretty conflicted. I didn’t want to stray from my walk with God, but at the same time I did not feel like He was calling or leading me to a Christian college for several different reasons. Ultimately, God led me to VCU and since then my Faith in him has grown TREMENDOUSLY. Along my faith journey, I have come across the bountiful and diverse spiritual opportunities that VCU has to offer to its community and I want to share them WITH YOU.

1. VCU has over 25 campus ministries that are a part of the Interfaith Campus Ministries Association (ICMA)

Not only are there tons of ministries to choose from, but each of them offers a little something different. You can find a ministry for nearly any faith or spiritual leading that you might be interested in learning about or getting into. Options range from the Muslim Student Association, to the Jewish Student Alliance, to a plethora of different denominations and non-denominational Christian clubs. The possibilities are endless. Check it out here!

2. VCU has an Interfaith Meditation and Prayer Room

Located right in our Student Commons you will find a comfy, quiet area that welcomes any form of prayer and meditation that anyone is allowed to utilize.

3. The SOVO Fair will help you find a good fit

The SOVO Fair is the MASSIVE club forum that showcases every single student organization at VCU. It’s a hosted at the beginning of every semester. This is your chance to see all of the faith ministries and religious organizations that exist on campus (there are SO MANY). They will take your contact info and YOU WILL hear from them again! These orgs love inviting everyone to join and usually have cool ice breakers and yummy food to get everyone acquainted and comfy.

4. There are TONS of place to observe organized Worship ON CAMPUS

If you’re worried about transportation to make it to Church, or Temple, or Synagogue DON’T WORRY. There are numerous places to worship ON CAMPUS. And if the Church you want to try isn’t close by, no doubt there will be some folks in your student org of choice who won’t mind giving you a ride!

5. The cultural diversity at VCU is an environment that ENCOURAGES spiritual exploration

Although VCU is a huge research-based institute, we are also heavily grounded in cultural diversity and a huge part of culture is religion, faith and spirituality. If you are looking to learn more about different cultures faith practices you will definitely get the chance to do that here! With frequent events year round from different religious orgs you will constantly be learning more about your own and your peers faith and beliefs. It’s a pretty beautiful enlightening thing!

6. VCU offers MANY INTERESTING religious studies courses

I for one have found so much joy in the amount of interesting topics that our Religious Studies department offers. I just found about a course called Women in the Bible that I can’t wait to take, and freshman year my introduction to the New Testament Class was so informative. The classes cover any religion you could possibly be interested in learning about. VCU casts a wide net in area of study and I love that!

So if you’re worried that you won’t find a stimulating faith environment just because you’re going to a public university, DON’T WORRY! I am a real life example of a young woman who not only learned more about her Christian Faith at school, but someone who loves the Lord more than I did two years ago. This in combination with the beautiful and diverse population at VCU has helped make me an open minded lover of people, and I have a deep and fond appreciation for all of the other Faiths I have learned about while I have been at VCU!