The May 18 Baccalaureate service for graduating students and their families is just one example of the way the University's Campus Ministry team supports and nourishes the spiritual development, religious identity and faith practices of the Bryant community.
The University offers a number of interfaith celebrations throughout the year, including Parents and Family Weekend services and December's annual Festival of Lights.
"My faith and beliefs are important to me. I think it is what makes me the person that I am now."
“We want people to know that there are diverse populations and opportunities on campus, and we are committed to growing those opportunities and populations,” said Rabbi Steven Jablow, Jewish Chaplain. Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish chaplains are available to all members of the Bryant community as sources of support, guidance, and spiritual development and integration. The University also offers prayer mats for Muslim students and has a growing Hillel community.
Diverse populations, diverse opportunities
“My faith and beliefs are important to me," says Nidhi Murli '21. "I think it is what makes me the person that I am now. It is my identity. The Bryant community supports my faith and belief by always pushing me to do better. Allowing me to be a part of the Bryant community helps me gain more knowledge of the other cultures that are present.”
Bryant's Annual Prayer Breakfast, which celebrated its 22nd year in 2018, welcomes people of all beliefs and faiths for an inspirational hour of music, prayer, and a spiritual message. The event "provides an opportunity to promote fellowship, understanding, and a shared prayer experience for all who attend," says Kati Machtley, director and co-founder of the breakfast.
"Without the strong sense of community here at Bryant ... I’m not sure where I would be in my faith journey."
Emily Sheehan ’18, one of the speakers at the 2018 Prayer Breakfast, described how the Bryant community helped her find her faith.
"We celebrate together"
Before coming to Bryant, she said, she rarely attended Mass. But as a student, attending Mass became a source of comfort. “I was afraid to be judged for going alone, but coming to Bryant University changed that for me. Here at Bryant, everyone enters alone, we celebrate together, and we never judge one another,” she told the audience. “Without the strong sense of community here at Bryant and within our Catholic Ministry, I’m not sure where I would be in my faith journey today. I am so blessed to have been embraced by this community and now be able to do the same for others."
Many programs are tailored to specific faiths, Jablow acknowledged, noting that "there's something special about connecting with people that have a similar background as you."
But, he added, he focuses on programs that bring people together so that "students from different groups have an opportunity to intermingle and share their experiences."