The Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs Professionals at Catholic Colleges and Universities: Principle #6

Principle #6: The effective administrator invites and accompanies students into the life of the Catholic Church through prayer, liturgy, sacraments and spiritual direction.

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Catholic colleges and universities assist all students to develop an active and meaningful relationship with God.  This is accomplished through such activities as traditional and contemporary prayer opportunities, small faith sharing groups, retreats, spiritual direction, and (upon request) RCIA [Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults] instruction. In addition, liturgical and sacramental opportunities are scheduled on a regular basis for Catholic students. Each student’s personal relationship with God can be further deepened by application of the charisms and spiritual practices of the institution’s founding religious order, where applicable.

In many Catholic institutions the campus ministry staff is part of the student affairs division. In other Catholic institutions student affairs professionals collaborate with members of the campus ministry staff. In welcoming students to the salvific richness of Jesus Christ, student affairs professionals have a responsibility to understand and articulate the Catholic faith and to support and work with campus ministers to provide pastoral care and leadership to students seeking spiritual growth.

Assessing This Principle

1. What does this principle mean for Boston College?

2. How do I apply this principle through programs, policies & practices?

            a. To what extent do opportunities exist for all students who are seeking an active and meaningful relationship with God, regardless of their faith tradition?

             b. What opportunities on campus exist to celebrate the rich liturgical tradition of the Catholic Church, including traditional devotions?  

             c. What sacred space(s) are available for students on campus?

             d. What opportunities exist on campus for collaboration between campus  ministers and other professionals on behalf of students’ spiritual development?

           e. What opportunities exist for the spiritual development of all members   of the campus community, including the student life staff? 

3. What evidence do I have to judge the effectiveness of my efforts?

 4. What does this evidence tell you about your effectiveness?

5. What will I do with the information I have gathered about my effectiveness?

A Catholic Perspective: “We think that prayer is something private. We no longer believe, I think, in the real, historical effect of prayer. Instead, we must be convinced and learn that this spiritual commitment, which unites heaven and earth, has an inner force. And a means to arrive at the affirmation of justice is to commit oneself to prayer, because in this way it is transformed in my and others’ education for justice. We must, in brief, re-learn the social sense of prayer.” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 2004).

 

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