Religion on Campus: What are the options?
By Bekah Oester
For anyone who is new to college or the area, fitting religion into your lifestyle may be tough. College is a new phase where a lot of changes take place. If you already practice a religion, you may begin to have doubts, or you may be far from your home church and don't know where to attend in the area. If you weren't a religious person now, you may be curious about what religion has to offer.
Whatever your scenario, Bowie State has many organizations and people available to help you on your spiritual quest. Among the many Christian organizations at BSU are Lighthouse Campus Ministries and Christside ministries, which both offer Bible Studies and prayer throughout the week.
Other religious organizations on campus include Apostolic Campus Ministry and Bethel Campus Fellowship.
If you desire to leave campus and worship at an actual church, local churches such as Reid Temple offer a shuttle bus for students on Sundays to bring them to services and back.
Christianity not your thing? Just not sure? BSU also has an Episcopal chaplain available for personal help, but don't let her denomination fend you off just yet. Chaplain Anne Marie Jeffrey's job is what she calls "two-fold:" she supports her own denomination, but also provides religious support to students of any or no denomination. "My purpose isn't to convert," she said, but rather to help students with their spiritual lives.
Jeffrey works for her church and not BSU, so she does not have an office on campus. She interacts with students, their organizations, and faculty through presence on campus. She is on campus every Wednesday, and comes throughout the week to attend other functions such as performances and sporting events.
Jeffrey has previously worked on campus with a sorority and is available to work upon invitation with campus ministries and presentations. Although she is a chaplain, she is available to speak on more than religion, repeating that her purpose "is not to make people Episcopalian." She has even gone as far in the opposite direction as to participate in a debate and discussion on science and religion in a classroom.
Through talking and listening to staff and students, Jeffrey serves as a "sounding board," as well as a resource for support, help, and making other religious options known.
To learn more about any BSU campus ministries, contact or visit the Office of Student Life. Anne Marie Jeffrey can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.