posted on October 22, 2010 16:59
The following reflection was written last year by Catharine Campbell, a current Divinity School student who was an undergrad senior religion major in the Department of Religion and Philosophy at the time she wrote this. For more information on the Department of Religion and Philosophy, click here.
As a senior reflecting on my time here in Campbell’s community, I can say it has been quite the journey. The experiences and relationships I have encountered have become part of who I am and my story. I entered the university as a Pre-Pharmacy major, but later found that what I was interested in, what I am passionate about, and what I am actually good at lined up with the world in a different way, a way that drew me towards the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in religion.
The department that has nurtured my education has challenged me to read, write, dialogue about, question, and consider differing views, histories, theories, cultures, and ethics. My education, however, has not ended there. Campbell mentors and my time in the classroom helped to prompt me to pursue missional summers.
From my first summer in the great outdoors of the Girls in Action atmosphere of Camp Mundo Vista, to my second summer living and working at the Christian Activity Center with the children of the Gomper’s housing project in East St. Louis, Illinois, and finally to my most recent summer of being emerged in the larger, all-encompassing, urban climate of the services in Toronto, Ontario, I’ve watched my academics become applicable.
I have found my lessons elaborated on in many ways: through the innocence and fire of a child who owns nothing, the wisdom of an older generation tucked away in a home, the life story of a man on the sidewalk who has become part of the landscape, or the brokenness of a woman forced into an industry.
In each life, in each story, the themes of the deliverance of
the Exodus, the philosophy of the problem of evil and suffering, the lasting impact of the Second Great Awakening, and the work and love of Jesus Christ and many more have become tangible.
The connection for me between academics and ministry doesn't stop at my summers. Our religion department is also involved in ministry in our community through the tutoring and mentoring programs with the youth of the Baptist Fellowship of Angier. Our classroom lessons come to life as we engage in relationship and serve others.
Some say that studying Religion academically can cause one to lose his or her faith. For me, my faith has become enhanced; I have a different set of lenses. My faith has become more than heart and soul, it includes mind, adding to my capacity to love others.