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AU News

Nurturing Spiritual Growth: Doing Life Together

April 10, 2023
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Residence directors share how ministry is happening across campus housing at Anderson University.

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Residence Halls are where many of Anderson University’s students essentially do life together. 

Here, spiritual formation can take on many forms. Resident Directors (RD’s) and Resident Assistants (RA’s) minister to, pray with and provide encouragement to students wherever they are in their academic and spiritual journeys. Regardless of the method or platform used, the main idea is to cultivate community and a sense of belonging. 

Anderson University Residence Life’s stated outcome says, “As members of the Anderson University residential community, students will be challenged and encouraged to grow in their personal relationship with Christ, drawing connections between their actions and beliefs.”

Let’s take a tour of campus and see how ministry takes place where students live.

Village and Kingsley Living Area – RD: Jose Brown

“Being that the Residence Halls are the place on Anderson University’s campus where students genuinely get to do life together, it is absolutely crucial that there is spiritual formation/faith development being implemented into the programming and day-to-day rhythms of each residence hall. In Village and Kingsley halls specifically, we intentionally implement spiritual formation for our residents in the following ways:

  • A Spiritual Formation focused living area wide event each semester
  • Intentional one-on-one’s from RA’s and the RD where spiritual guidance is a topic of conversation
  • Our “Tuesday Truth Devotional” series via social media that is led by the Village and Kingsley RA’s
  • Our weekly prayer board as a living area
  • Our online prayer box where residents can submit prayer requests
  • An upcoming event series we are starting spring 2023 is called “Couch Convos” where we will discuss faith and a hot button topic to facilitate community conversations around how to include faith in all aspects of life
  • Village Basement hosts occasional (typically around 3-4 times a semester) Bible studies and worship nights for our freshmen men to attend and participate in

Our goal with each of these faith development opportunities is to provide accessible and inclusive options for our residential community to engage in their relationship with the Lord both as an individual and in community. The RA’s are empowered to view their RA role as a powerful ministry opportunity where they are on mission to evangelize the good news of the gospel and help grow disciples in their own homes/community. Through the RD’s and RA’s leadership example, residents are encouraged to do the same.”

Stringer & Whitaker Living Area – RD: Teagan Dunning

“In Stringer and Whitaker, we’ve engaged our residents in several different ways spiritually. It is so important for our residents to be regularly engaging with truth in multiple ways. Most of our hallways have either words directly from Scripture or ideas like “the names that God gives us” as daily reminders of who we are in Christ. Additionally, some RAs have gone a step further—tying Scripture into our social media content. Our posts are based on the learning outcomes that we as the Residence Life department have. Our Resident Advisors have taken the time to connect things like mental and physical wellness, diversity, and progressive independence to what they see taught in Scripture. 

Our team has also worked to provide programming that is based on spiritual practices and scripture itself. Allie Tryon, the RA of Whitaker 1 is excited to host a recurring Bible study on her floor this year, where her residents will engage with different passages in Scripture. Additionally, we invited our residents to practice gratitude by writing down things that they are grateful for on pieces of paper toast while enjoying Corner Bagel at “A Toast to the New Year.” Finally, Chelsie Duncan, the RA of Stringer B, hosted a program focused on journaling, which gave her residents the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and where they have seen the Lord working.”

Boulevard Living Area – RD: Cassie Webber

“The women of Boulevard have a unique opportunity to engage in faith development through consistent interactions from their Resident Advisors and within the community events for Boulevard. To begin, the RA’s and RD implement devotionals on the Boulevard Instagram Page where they will share pieces of scripture and an application point to meet the residents where they are at. During the holidays, the Boulevard team does an Advent Series where every day in December they post a video explaining where Christ is seen leading up to His birth, to which we celebrate on Christmas. Additionally, our RA’s and RD pray with our residents and offer a ‘how can we pray for you’ section on Instagram. In regard to events, one of the key ways to love and care for the residents while implementing faith development, is through serving the residents. The Boulevard Staff hosts an annual event called ‘Get Ready with Boulevard,’ where they create an opportunity, before an AU Dance, to invite the girls to come and get their hair and/or makeup done for the event! This creates a great way to spend one-on-one time with the residents, hearing about their lives and getting to have Christ-centered conversations as well!”

Townhome – RD: Kelsey Groves

“The Townhomes provide opportunities for faith development in students both through practical programming as well as the social experience of the living area. Socially, something I emphasize in my living area is the importance of being good neighbors. As an apartment style residence area where we do not have hallways or lobbies, it is easy to forget that we are still living in a campus community and actions affect others. I have had conversations with residents both in-person as well as sent out regularly in emails about taking care of the area of the woods we live in, stewarding the spaces we occupy, and respecting the needs of those we live with. I seek to encourage residents to love, honor, and respect their neighbor – in accord with how Jesus tells us that a way He receives our love is through loving our neighbor.”  

Lawton & Rouse – RD: Luke Springer

“One program offered to Lawton and Rouse students with an emphasis on spiritual development is Fireside Chats. Fireside Chats are a time for residents to come together to discuss various topics around faith, learning, worldview, etc. These discussions are led by the Senior Resident Advisor and Residence Director of Lawton and Rouse Halls. The conversations have been a great opportunity for students to engage with one another in healthy conversation. Although these conversations cover many topic areas, they are strongly rooted in faith and bringing each person’s faith into important conversations. The motto for the chats is ‘good conversation, better community, stronger worldview.’”

Senior RA Personal Faith Development Statement – Canon Allen

“Working for AU Residence Life for over half of my student career has opened doors—both literally and spiritually—to becoming more of the person God wants me to be. From the Christ-aimed weeks of training to the teams I have been blessed to grow alongside, the Lord has used Residence Life to mold me into His image and thus help me have the boldness and discernment to pour into those around me, whether in the dorm suites or in the Watkins classroom. Some of the most substantial growth in my life, both in the Lord and as an individual, has sprouted from my time as an RA, and I truly believe I would’ve been sorely at a loss had I not first applied.”

Stay tuned for future articles about God at work in the Anderson University community.

News Release Contact

Executive Director for Public Relations