Todd Boling, the Senior Associate Chaplain, said they hosted the events in conjunction with their normal events because of the number of disasters around the world that were both natural and man-made. “Hope and healing doesn’t come in a one-time event. It’s something that we have to continue to work at,” he said.
This idea is an expansion of RSL’s mission, to provide an environment for TCU students to advance their spiritual growth. This is not exclusive to the religious as the office is open to people of all faiths, atheists included.
Spiritual Life works with the Counseling and Mental Health Center to provide group counseling sessions for students that are dealing with grief. Britt Luby, Associate Chaplain, runs one of these group sessions and says that religion only comes up if a student mentions it. Spiritual Lofe also has a multi-faith meditation room in their offices in Jarvis Hall for anyone during the week.
“We define spiritual wellness not as a connection to a denomination but as a connection to your sense of purpose or meaning,” Boling said.
Zachary Gutierrez, a senior FTDM major, agrees with this sentiment and believes that anyone can find help and guidance in Spiritual Life. “If you’re atheist you’re as welcome here as a Christian is within the walls of Jarvis,” he said.
Spiritual Life is also responsible for advising and assisting the student religious organizations on campus. There are 23 organizations on campus and they range across denominations. While they are all focused on fostering interfaith dialogue, some were founded around a single religion – the Hillel Jewish Student Foundation – while others, like Better Together, are meant for those that are interested in learning more about different religions or cultures.
Spiritual Life helps organizations in a number of ways. They support student leaders by connecting the groups with each other and providing resources on campus. They also handle planning and execution of events as well as sorting out any conflicts. Spiritual Life hosts a Religious Advisory Council made of representatives of organizations to discuss matters as well.
Lalita Sundarrajan, a senior accounting and finance major and member of the council, said Spiritual Life is very supportive of the religious communities and finds ways to connect their goals to a common message. “The people in RSL are so kind and willing to help students feel at peace and get all of the services and attention that they need.”