CHARLOTTE, N.C./Sept. 26, 2022 – Dr. Kendal Mobley, Spiritual Life coordinator and associate professor of Religion, has been working with Student Affairs to plan a week-long celebration of spirituality from Sept. 26 to 30.
“Spirituality week is the first step to renewing the vitality of Spiritual Life on this campus,” said Mobley. “Offering opportunities in a safe, friendly and nurturing setting for our students to express their feelings, explore new ideas and have their spiritual needs met is important for a university like ours.”
Mobley said the collaboration started with a request from Dr. Davida L. Haywood ’98, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Spiritual Life was a big part of Haywood’s journey at Johnson C. Smith University. In fact, the University has a rich spiritual history. The campus had its own church which was run by theological professors in the University’s seminary program, which later moved to Atlanta in 1969.
The University has a strong Presbyterian history, having been originally founded by the Catawba Presbytery in the old Charlotte Presbyterian Church as the Freedmen’s College of North Carolina in 1867. Many older graduates had to attend church on campus or at an off-campus location as a part of their curriculum requirements.
For Haywood, the ability to connect with her spiritual side helped her through her time at JCSU.
“I remember affectionately our reverends,” she said. “We used to have weekly chapel services and services on Sunday. The chapel was a sacred space for you to come and unburden yourself with whatever may have been bothering you.”
Although the official connection to the Presbyterian church has been severed, Haywood said now is the perfect time to reintroduce students to spirituality on campus.
The COVID-19 pandemic claimed many lives, and Haywood believes students, faculty and staff alike are in search of spiritual grounding.
Mobley said the coming week will be filled with a number of opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members to learn about different religions like Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.
“We live in an increasingly globalized and urban world,” said Mobley. “We have a role to play in helping our students and community understand how to be good neighbors in a religiously diverse society. It is important that we all learn to find overlapping commonalities with other traditions so that we can work together in areas of concern to pursue a common good.”
“Our Spirituality Week will expose our students to the depth and diversity of religion,” added Haywood.
“I hope students will walk away and understand the beauty of faith and religion.”
This week’s events will include:
Monday, Sept. 26 – MeckMIN Discussion Panel at 11 a.m. in James B. Duke Library Makerspace
Tuesday, Sept. 27 – “Awakening” Coffeehouse and Open Mic at 7 p.m. in the James B. Duke Library Makerspace. Co-sponsored by the Black Ink Monks.
Wednesday, Sept. 28 – “Get Lifted” gospel music at lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Millennium Dining Hall. Music provided by Young Life.
Thursday, Sept. 29 – Exploring Buddhist Spirituality at 11 a.m. in the James B. Duke Library Makerspace. There will also be a Young Life Fuel Night at 6 p.m. in the New Science Center Innovation Center (3rd Floor)
Friday, Sept. 30 – Spiritual Life Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on The Block. This event will feature local churches and religious communities. There will also be a College Refuel Night at 7 p.m. in Sarah Gambrell Auditorium in Biddle Hall. This worship event is hosted by Trinity Christian Center.
More information on individual events may be found on our Facebook events page. For more information, contact Mobley at email@example.com.