Making Meaning: How Student Affairs Came to Embrace Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Life Purpose A forthcoming publication from ACPA Books and Media / Stylus Press Jenny L. Small, Boston College (Editor) #ACPA14 #ACPA14 Overview of the session • • • • • • • • • 9:00 – 9:10: Introduction 9:10 – 9:50: Two section presentations (including Q&A for each) 9:50 – 10:00: Break 10:00 – 10:20: Third section presentation (including Q&A) 10:20 – 10:40: Small group conversation #1 10:40 – 10:50: Break 10:50 – 11:00: Discussion of themes 11:00 – 11:20: Small group conversation #2 11:20 – 11:30: Concluding conversation #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Tweet Up! #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Introduction This program explores the forthcoming edited volume, Making Meaning: How Student Affairs Came to Embrace Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Life Purpose, being published by ACPA Books and Media (2014). In the last 10 to 15 years there has been a dramatic proliferation in research and best practices surrounding spirituality, faith, religion, and life purpose in the field. This session studies the questions what has enabled this topic to become an integral aspect of the field, and how we can build upon this success for the future. #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Questions we will address • • • • • • How we reached a “tipping point” (Gladwell, 2000) What the driving forces behind the change were What fundamental transformations were caused by these changes How these changes impacted people and institutions How we can build upon this success What lessons we can apply in the future #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Learning objectives • History and current state of religion, spirituality, faith, and life purpose in 3 arenas: research, association work, and practice. • Shared vision-building of where the work on religion, spirituality, faith, and life purpose can go in the future. • Utilizing an example of past fostered changes as a lesson for how to facilitate future change. #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Vivienne Felix and Nicholas A. Bowman, Bowling Green State University Sam Siner, University of Texas at Austin Tricia Seifert, University of Toronto RESEARCH #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Historical Influences • Colonial Colleges • Models of education from abroad • Christianity in higher education #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Discriminatory Practices • Education as societal stratification • Historical changes in demography of U.S. population • Admission and treatment of Jewish students #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Fowler and Parks • Fowler’s Stages of Faith (1981) – Privileged toward a certain experience? • Parks’ Big Questions, Worthy Dreams (2000) – Moving toward inner-dependence – Creating mentoring communities #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Religious Diversity and Faith Development • Jewish students (MacDonald-Dennis, 2006) – Developing Jewish identity – Creating inclusive communities (Kushner, 2009) • Muslim students (Peek, 2005) – Developing Muslim identity – Creating inclusive communities (Ali & Bagheri, 2009) #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Religious Diversity and Faith Development • Atheist students – Specific challenges and development theory (Nash, 2003; Siner, 2011) – Creating inclusive communities (Goodman & Mueller, 2009) #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Further Research • Intersections between religion/spirituality/faith and race, culture, sexual orientation, etc. • Student experiences at public vs. private secular vs. private religious universities • Student experiences with other worldviews (e.g. Hinduism, agnosticism, Baha’i) #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Broad Religious/Worldview Groups • Religious majority students • Religious minority students • Religiously unaffiliated students #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Student Experiences and Outcomes • Perceiving a hostile religious/worldview climate • Religious/spiritual growth • Well-being and academic outcomes #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Forecast for future research #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Sharon A. Lobdell, University of Michigan-Dearborn Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, Bowling Green State University PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 How Professional Organizations Are Reshaping Higher Education • Putting critical issues regarding spirituality, religion, and meaning making into the spotlight – – – – New programs New/revised policies Holistic approach to student learning Promoting and sharing scholarship • Create associations and partnerships that encourage programs and sharing of resources • National/International membership brings many life experiences to the table #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 How Do These Associations Define Professionals? • Sharon: “I was out of touch until I was exposed to a climate where my religious beliefs were embraced…this nurturing allowed me to grow.” • Dafina: “Participating in ACPA’s CSFRM was one of the most spiritually formative experiences of my life.” • As professionals help guide the journey of the students they work with, they can engage in an intrapersonal journey to discover their own beliefs. • Affiliation with these associations can be critical, especially if the professional does not have a safe or open climate at their institution. #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Graduate Programs • Through their research and collaborative efforts, these associations can help shape graduate programs by creating/influencing the scholarly material, articles, and competencies that will round-out the graduate preparation process. • In turn, graduates from these programs can bring more individuals with knowledge and skills concerning religious pluralism and interfaith dialogues into the profession. #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Questions for the Audience • Did your grad school curriculum include any discussion on spirituality, religion, or meaning making? • How are you engaging issues of spirituality, faith, religion, and life purpose through your professional association involvement? • What do you need from your professional associations as support networks for this engagement? #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 10 minute break #ACPA14 Kathleen Goodman and Katie Wilson, Miami University Frank Shushok, Jr., and Patricia Perillo, Virginia Tech PRACTICE #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Campus Practice in Support of Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Life Purpose • Case Study: Miami University #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Campus Practice in Support of Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Life Purpose • • • • • Courses and pedagogy Co-curricular practices Spirituality and health initiatives Interfaith initiatives Partnerships #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Campus Practice in Support of Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Life Purpose • Sources of change – – – – Leadership of professional organizations Increased grant funding Highly visible research Personal interests of campus faculty and admin • Room for improvement – Lack of widespread commitment – Lack of training – Need to be more inclusive #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Campus Practice in Support of Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Life Purpose • Possibilities and Provocations – – – – Stop using the public institution defense Enhance education and training Create new structures and partnerships Broaden the notion of spirituality #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 New Openness for Spiritual Learning • 2009 - Florida State University launched its Spiritual Life Project • 2010 - University of Massachusetts, Amherst established the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life • 2012 - Stanford University appointed its first chaplain for atheists • 2013 - Elon University (NC) opened its first multifaith center for religious and spiritual life #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Students’ Meaning-Making in Practice Campus leaders “should make a thoughtful, evidence-based, purposeful effort to get in each student’s way; in fact, shaping a certain kind of campus culture may be the biggest contribution campus leaders can make.” Light (2001) #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Students’ Meaning-Making in Practice Integrative learning—learning that “engages the students in the systematic exploration of the relationship between their studies of the objective world and the purpose, meaning, limits, and aspirations of their lives” (Palmer, Zajonc, & Scribner, 2010)—is a pedagogical approach that gets in the way. #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Students’ Meaning-Making in Practice “Tragedy is a special, unique and powerful time to invite students to learn about some of the most important questions related to living: Who are we? Why are we here? How can we make the world more humane and just? (Shushok, 2010) - Virginia Tech got in the way after the April 16, 2007 #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Encouraging Spiritual Exploration on Campus—Three Good First Steps 1. Space and Place 2. People and Roles 3. Conversation and Community #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 How does this impact your research, practice, service, graduate studies? What are the compelling issues, challenges, opportunities? How does this presentation of the field align with your campus reality? SMALL GROUP CONVERSATION #1 #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 10 minute break #ACPA14 Discussion • Themes of the book – Timeline of change – Virtuous cycles – Inclusion of diverse voices – Historical shifts • Other themes of this session #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 The future of meaning-making through research, practice, and professional associations: where do we go from here? SMALL GROUP CONVERSATION #2 #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 CONCLUDING CONVERSATION #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Please Rate This Session in Guidebook 1. Find this session in Guidebook 2. Scroll to bottom and click on “Rate this session” 3. Complete Session Feedback Form Web link: http://m.guidebook.com/guide/14765 #ACPAMakingMeaning #ACPA14 Thank you!