Learn about UBCO’s Spiritual & Multi-Faith Space in UNC 316
What can the Spiritual & Multi-Faith Space be used for?
Students use the space to pray and meditate, talk with other students, read and think about sacred texts, and celebrate holy days as well as the gift of the everyday. Here, friendships form and conversations swirl around some of life’s biggest questions.
Along with the Spiritual & Multi-Faith Space, a new multi-faith chaplaincy has been established to further support students. Both the Spiritual & Multi-Faith Space and the multi-faith chaplaincy came about because of student-led initiatives, and it’s exciting to see UBC’s commitment to students of faith through these recent developments.
What are chaplains?
Chaplains are leaders from a faith tradition who serve institutions like hospitals, schools, or universities. Although it’s a common misconception that chaplains are Christian, there are chaplains representing many religions.
The Spiritual & Multi-Faith chaplaincy currently consists of Christian (Pentecostal and Christian Reformed), Jewish, and Buddhist chaplains. In the future, it aims to add representatives from Muslim, Sikh, Baha’i, Christian (Roman Catholic), and Hindu traditions.
UBCO chaplains are experienced in helping students navigate the struggles we all undergo. Chaplains challenge students to explore questions about life’s meaning and purpose, and encourage students to grow deeper in faith and broader in perspective. They also host small groups on religious topics and (depending on the religion) lead on-campus religious services and meditation circles.
Who is chaplaincy for?
Multi-faith chaplains serve the whole campus. Whether you’re faithful or skeptical, committed, critical or merely curious, there are resources on campus to explore and grow your faith, mind, and wellbeing.
Drop by UNC 316 and start a conversation with another student, or find a chaplain and ask them a question! There may be programming or events happening that are of interest to you; this information is updated weekly via a calendar on the door.
Why does spirituality matter?
Students bring their whole identity to academic learning, including their faith and spirituality. Faith is alive and well among students and faculty at UBCO across the whole spectrum—from Anglican faith to Indigenous spiritualities to Zoroastrian religion. This isn’t surprising: studies of university students in North America reveal that most students consider themselves spiritual and value opportunities to grow spirituality. There are several thriving faith-based student groups at UBCO supported by the chaplaincy. In fact, both the Spirituality Space and the Multi-faith c
UBCO is a “place of mind,” but should it also be a “place of soul”? In one of his very last poems, “Almost Like the Blues,” Leonard Cohen teases academic cultures that are dismissive of spiritual perspectives:
There is no G-d in Heaven
And there is no Hell below
So says the great professor
Of all there is to know…
And yet, is that “all there is to know”?
We flourish as people and communities when we care for our minds, bodies, and spirits. UBC recognizes this by providing support and resources to students who wish to practice and develop their faith and spirituality.
How can I find out more about faith and religion at UBCO or contact a chaplain?
Contact information for the chaplains and spiritual and/or religious clubs may be found on this webpage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Statham is the coordinating chaplain of UBCO’s Spiritual and Multifaith Chaplaincy, and has been active on campus as a Christian chaplain since 2017. A minister in the Christian Reformed Church, he has a PhD in Religious Studies from McGill University and has taught theology and religion at universities in Canada, Malawi and Germany.