November 06, 2017

Peer Ministry Program finds a place in students’ hearts

 

The crucifix in St. Dominic ChapelStudents continue to be drawn to Campus Ministry’s Peer Ministry Program, a unique community where the sharing is genuine and deep.

Started during academic year 2014-15 with a gift of $500,000 from Douglas A. Kingsley ’16P and Joan E. Kingsley ’16P, the Peer Ministry Program welcomes students of any class year and level of faith. The program encourages students to grow in their relationship with Jesus by talking about the intersection of faith and college life as it pertains to their lives. There is no filtering of topics, and discussions have been characterized as “raw and real.”

Peer ministers — trained Campus Ministry leaders from the sophomore, junior, and senior classes — meet in pairs with groups of approximately 15 students. There were four leaders and 20 participants the first year. The program grew sharply the next two academic years, with numbers increasing to 34 peer ministers and 200 participants last academic year, 2016-17. Early in the Fall 2017 semester, there were 38 leaders and 280 participants.

“The sheer number of participants points to the fact that students are searching for a more authentic encounter with God and their peers,” said Molly F. White, campus minister, who coordinates the program with Rev. Michael J. Weibley, O.P., assistant chaplain. “Peer Ministry invites students to reflect on how God is working in their lives while seeking support and honest dialogue from their peers.”