Religious & Spiritual Life: Student Experiences
Haverford students speak of their experiences with religion, spirituality and religious life on campus.
My experience with religious life on campus has been strong because my sect is so well represented and strong here. As a Quaker College I find a lot of strength in the other Quakers and the amazing leadership opportunities and classes to educate others about my religion. Essentially I feel privileged to have such a big community and presence of Quakers on Haverford's campus.
The values that Haverford emphasizes and the students that make up the community create the perfect atmosphere to explore a wide variety of religious and spiritual perspectives in order to strengthen one's own grounding.
I have been a part of the Haverford Christian Fellowship for the past three years and my experience has been wonderful. Coming to such a liberal college from a conservative upbringing was very daunting for me. The Christian fellowship eagerly welcomed me in and helped my transition into college. Each week I meet with the members of the fellowship, I am reminded of the faithfulness of God and of His good work in my life. Since attending college, I have grown closer to God and have learned to rely on His grace and trust in His plan for my life. Meeting with a group of people who also want to live a life honoring to God has helped me stay true to who I am, while also encouraging me to pursue who I desire to become. As I enter my senior year as a leader in the club, I anticipate another year full of encouragement and study of God's word. I am so thankful for this club and I cannot wait to see what is in store for this year.
As soon as I came to Haverford, it was surprising to me that the religious life here was so open, coming from a high school where discussing religion was a no-no. It was very easy to immerse myself into some of the Christian groups.In the little time here I have grown tremendously because of the many groups.
My dad was born into a Greek Orthodox family (he has since adopted Buddhism) and my mother into a Lutheran household. Following in my mother's footsteps, I too was baptized in the ELCA Lutheran church. I was then confirmed in the Presbyterian Church USA and now participate in a Episcopal campus ministry. My broad religious background is one of the many reasons I am fascinated with interfaith dialogue and am dedicated to its continual occurrence on Haverford's campus. There is potential for great growth in terms of understanding, conversation, and action on the part of all students today, but especially on a campus as aware and diverse as Haverford's. While there is much still to be done in terms of religious awareness and dialogue, we are in the right place at the right time to make it happen.
Through my classes, friends, and on-campus involvements, I've really been allowed to explore myself and my Jewish roots through many lenses. I've learned about politics, spirituality and academia, and have found myself with a stronger and stronger Jewish identity. I've also been fortunate enough to have a role in Haverford's Jewish life, and the community that I've found there has helped me along my own journey. In Haverford Hillel, I can learn from and with others through services, conversations, meals, and friendships. The Haverford community lends itself to supporting religious life, religious identities, and meaningful discussions about all they involve. Without all these things, I would not be the Jew or the person I am now, and I wouldn't trade them for anything.