of Spirituality at
When do you feel most fully
yourself? Most alive? Most
centered? Most connected to
something larger than yourself?
deepen spiritual life
or life purpose is an
outcome of the way
a liberal arts
different fields and
integrates them into
also deepened by
the invitation to
For many Albright students these answers are organized around a
religious faith. For almost as many their answers focus on a purpose
with no direct connection to religion but one to which provides
guidance and meaning.
As students learn to think in more complex, nuanced, and critical
ways, many of our courses also encourage students to direct their
thinking toward themselves and their spiritual lives. They are often
reluctant to do this; it is uncomfortable to go through the uncertain
time that occurs while one is examining oneself and one's purposes
and values. However, the examination most often leads to a deeper
commitment, a commitment that is fought for and won by the student
and "theirs" in a way that can stand the battering of
This journey of examination to deepen spiritual life or life purpose
is an outcome of the way a liberal arts education brings together
many different fields and perspectives and integrates them into
a whole. So spiritual life at Albright is involved in all the ways
that we integrate the education of our students, both classroom
education and the education that occurs in residential life and
The religious expressions of spiritual life are visible in worship
services, Bible studies and cultural groups. Albright offers Catholic
Eucharist, Gospel-style worship, and meditative singing and prayer
A local United Methodist congregation may bring their evening praise
band worship onto campus for the benefit of students. Hillel organizes
both cultural and religious events for students who practice or
are interested in learning about Judaism. Bible studies are led
by students, the chaplain, and a seminary student associate to the
chaplain. Albright Christian Fellowship has brought in Christian
grunge bands in the past year and the Gospel Ensemble has started
regular Holy Ghost parties. Students also participate in eight to
10 different congregations in the area. There are many religious
forms of spiritual life.
But spiritual life is also deepened by the invitation to wonder
(about bats, economic trends, human behavior, an elegant solution
to a problem
) and that occurs every day in our classrooms.
Spiritual life is deepened by being challenged to take responsibility
for oneself and one's actions, by learning to cooperate with persons
who are very different, by managing time, by becoming a leader.
And spiritual life is fostered in our most cooperative ventures,
our sports teams and our musical ensembles as individuals play a
specific role that contributes and coordinates with a larger whole.
An examined life, an integrated life, a purposeful life is a spiritual
life. It is one of the most precious fruits of a liberal arts education.
As the chaplain at Albright College, it is my job to see that this
fruit is ripened and picked for all to experience.
Dr. Cathie Kelsey is the chaplain and director of the Multifaith
Center at Albright College.