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Challenges of Making Spirituality Part of College Life
PHOENIX-- The key to a well-rounded college experience is balancing academic pursuits with individual and spiritual growth, according to Grand Canyon University, Arizona's premier private Christian university. As students look for ways to define and express their spiritual beliefs on campus, GCU offers guidance to help them pursue a greater purpose and reach their full potential.
College students are faced with challenges and countless firsts, including new courses, new surroundings and new freedoms. From attending class and completing assignments to learning to live with new roommates, students find that a campus can be an overwhelming place. "It's vital for students step away from the spiritual sidelines and get involved with community activities on and off campus," said Tim Griffin, dean of students and campus pastor at Grand Canyon University.
"After all, college is about more than finding a career path; it's a time for self-examination as students begin to create their own identity by exploring, experimenting and making decisions along the way. With a variety of life experiences, these young adults are unsure how to nurture their spiritual life on campus."
To make the most of campus life, students should search out opportunities for self-expression. At GCU, students are invited to attend regular university-wide chapel services, as well as a weekly evening service called The Gathering, which is planned by students, for students. Most college campuses also have active youth organizations that meet regularly to bring together like-minded individuals and provide a positive influence on students' spiritual journeys.
Other opportunities might include guest lecturers or retreats that support spiritual growth. Griffin notes that for a more hands-on approach, there are many opportunities to serve others – both on and off campus – by connecting with counselors, student leaders and faculty to identify effective ways to serve the community. Whether it's volunteering at a soup kitchen, mentoring underprivileged children or starting a team for a local fundraising event, college life allows students flexibility and unique opportunities to give back where the greatest needs exist.
Lastly, worshipping individually through meditation and prayer is just as important as seeking out worship in a group setting through services, prayer session or bible studies. Individual reflection helps students re-center their spiritual selves, find clarity and gather strength to face challenges.
As a Christian University, Grand Canyon helps students in their academic and spiritual journeys by offering a variety of experiences that serve to strengthen their faith. These opportunities allow students to explore who Jesus is, grow in a relationship with Him, and ultimately become a co-laborer with Christ.
Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional in seven colleges: the Ken Blanchard College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Nursing, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Theology, the College of Fine Arts and Production, and the College of Doctoral Studies. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. The University's curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visitwww.gcu.edu.
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