Written by Shakori Fletcher '16
For some, college is the first time away from family. It’s a time of major change and this transition might include introspection and personal decisions regarding spiritual life.
As University Chaplain, Jan Fuller says her role is to help students root deeply in the religion or secular tradition of their choosing. The Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life is a resource for students as they make decisions about their own faith. It also provides programming to help them learn about other religions and to foster interactions between those of different faiths.
“You might learn something about another religion, but when you make a friend from another religion – that will shape you both in a way, you put a personal face on your knowledge and interact with the person from a different tradition, or a different mindset or a different perspective. That’s what college is all about, learning to deal with a different perspective.”
The Truitt Center is located within the Numen Lumen Pavilion, a space created for this unveiling of differences and to serve as a safe place for spiritual growth.
Elon is unique in the nation; there are very few other multifaith centers in the nation, maybe six or eight, Fuller says.
Jenson Roll, a sophomore Spirituality and Culture intern in the Truitt Center, coordinates events that either help students reconnect with their spirituality or go deeper within their spirituality. His role also includes helping Elon students experience cultures in a new light.
“When I came to Elon, one of the first things I looked for was a group of people I could share my faith with and really dive into a deeper understanding of my faith,” he says. “Whether it’s within my own faith or another faith, there’s so many different opinions and values, so it’s a constant learning experience - there’s so much knowledge in the building.”
Opened in Spring 2013, the Numen Lumen space features many locations for students to worship, pray and fellowship. The Sacred Space and McBride Gathering rooms are where most forums, meals and receptions take place. In addition to classrooms, the building also has a kitchen, library, social space called Oasis, and prayer, meditation and study rooms.
“We want our students to encounter difference,” Fuller says. “If we learn to deal with religious differences, it helps to translate into understanding other differences."
The opportunities for students to get involved with the Truitt Center are boundless. If students can’t find what they’re looking for or want to find a way to explore a new component of faith, the staff at the Truitt Center are available to help in that journey.
This year, for example, the center started a Gospel ministry because it felt the African-American Christian community needed a spiritual voice on campus, and now they’re worshipping twice a month on Sunday nights.
“I think something that’s often misconstrued about interfaith it’s just this big melting pot, or this blend, when that’s actually not at all what interfaith is,” Roll says. “It’s much more about knowing who you are and then being able to sit at a table and communicate who you are with other people, and learn what that means, both for others and yourself.”
|May 1||Deadline for $500 enrollment deposit ($300 for commuter students)|
|June & July|
Adventures in Leadership: June 28- July 3 and July 6-11
Discovery: June 22-28
PreSERVE: June 13-19
Live the Maroon Life: July 13-18
Chapter One: A Creative Writing Workshop: July 6-11
Roots: June 19-24
|Aug. 22||Move-in day/new student orientation begins|
|Aug. 26||Classes begin|
|Sept. 19-21||Family Weekend|
|Oct. 11-16||Fall Break (begins at 2:50 p.m. on Friday and ends at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning)|
|Nov. 1||Early Decision application deadline for first-year students enrolling fall ‘15|
|Nov. 10||Early Action application deadline for first-year students enrolling fall ‘15|
|Nov. 15*||Explore Elon, an open house for prospective students|
|Jan. 10||Deadline for Fellows program applications and regular deadline for admission|
*Invitations for Open House days are emailed four to six weeks in advance. For additional information, please call the admissions office at 800-334-8448.
Visit our website, elon.edu/admissions, to find out more about application deadlines and notification dates.