Campus ministry seeks student perspective on spirituality


Meredith O'Bara

Members of the campus ministry Cru use Perspective Cards to ask Marshall faculty and students how they view religion.

A deck of cards with a purpose.

This week the organization Cru is using a tool known as Perspective Cards to reach out to students and engage in conversations about faith.

The cards give students a chance to express their faith in a way they might not have had the chance to before, said Drew Osenbach, movement leader and Cru staff member.

“Perspectives is a card tool that Cru has, and it is a way to get into spiritual conversations,” Osenbach said. “I think it is good for people to articulate what they believe, and a lot of times, people believe what they believe, but do not articulate. I think it is good, even for our own students, to articulate what they believe.”

The cards are separated into different categories that lead students in spiritual conversations. Going in order, the categories are “the nature of God,” “meaning and purpose of life,” “human nature,” “who Jesus is or was” and “spiritual truth,” said Meredith Currin, a senior psychology major and student leader with Cru.

Students go through each category and choose cards that resonate with them. By doing this, students get the chance to question what they believe and give Cru members a chance to share their perspective on faith, Currin said.

“After they (students) choose all the cards and describe them, sometimes it is good for us to ask them ‘Do you mind if I tell you my perspective and the cards I would choose?’” Currin said. “Sometimes students say ‘yes’ and agree, and sometimes they do not. It is cool, though, for us to share our perspective of who Jesus is and was and go through what we would choose.”

With the cards, Cru members survey what students believe and gain understanding of those beliefs, Osenbach said.

“What is cool about this survey is, say someone picks in the ‘meaning and purpose of life’ category, ‘love and peace,’ then you get to ask them, ‘What does that mean to you?’ and once again, you get this listening exercise,” Osenbach said. “Because, for instance, I can pick ‘love and peace,’ and Meredith can pick ‘love and peace,’ but our definition is completely different. So, it is a really great way to gain a better understanding or perspective from someone else.”

Currin said being able to create a safe space for further conversations about faith to happen on campus is her hope for this week.

“My desire is for students to see that what they believe is okay, and I would like to share my perspective on what I believe and show that I am here to listen to what you believe, even if we believe in different things,” Currin said. “I think it is really cool to have this as a topic that we can talk about on campus and that we do not have anything holding us back in talking about what we believe in.”

The week is not just for the student body, as Osenbach said he hopes Cru member grow in their faith as well.

“I think, a lot of times, people do not listen, and so I am hoping the students involved in Cru, this will be an opportunity for them to practice listening and engaging and loving on the rest of campus,” Osenbach said.

Cru will be in the Memorial Student Center until Thursday to talk with students about their perspectives on faith.

Meredith O’Bara can be contacted by [email protected]