Finding a Spiritual Community at The ‘Ville
By: Hannah Woodford, student
The most common question I get from new students and prospective students alike is “How do I get involved on campus?” This is a question that student leaders are prepared to answer with ease, as it is such a popular concern. Over the course of my time at Millersville, I have discovered that this question does not just reflect students’ desires to participate in extra-curricular activities to fill their time, but it really points to a deeper desire: the desire for community.
I started going to The Navigators (Navs) my first semester at Millersville. From the moment I started attending I felt welcomed and accepted into the community. Navs is not just about meeting a couple of times per week, but we are about doing life together and supporting one another. My freshman year shaped up to be the absolute best year of my life because I was able to make Millersville my home, with the support of my peers and community at Navs. During quarantine, we were able to hold onto the fact that we are still a community, regardless of if we get to meet physically or not.
Millersville University leadership is devoted to the wellness of our students and our campus community. Our administration has done an excellent job ensuring our physical wellness, while also understanding that our spiritual wellness is just as important. Millersville University is equipped with an Inter-Faith Council of Ministers who seek to serve the MU community as a whole.
The Navigators at Millersville University is just one of many spiritual organizations on campus. Reformed University Fellowship (RUF), University Christian Fellowship (UCF), and The HUB are just a few other options for students seeking a Christian community. Bible Campus Ministries is another Christian organization with a particular emphasis on diversity, offering underrepresented students and students of color a space to express their Faith. MU Hillel is an organization seeking to enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students.
The process of making Millersville not just a place to learn, but a place to call home is one that every student has the potential to experience. Being a part of any club or campus organization can without a doubt provide a sense of community. When students ask that question, “How do I get involved on campus?”, I always plug as many organizations as I can, but now I make sure to talk about faith-based organizations as well.
My desire for community looked a little different from that of many of my peers. I didn’t realize it at first, but I desired a space where I could express my Faith and share that expression with others. One of Millersville’s EPIIC values is Inclusion. There is a space for me to be cared for spiritually because of the fact that Millersville is inclusive and accepting of my Faith background. This is accessible to all students, of any spiritual background. The devotion to the spiritual wellness of our campus community is what allowed my campus ministers to care for The Navigators ministry well throughout my entire time as a Millersville student.
Whether students desire the same kind of community that I do, or one that looks completely different, there are options for all of us here at Millersville. As we continue to navigate these trying times, let’s remember to lean on each other, and to continue pursuing community.