D&E Hosts Symposium on Faith and Higher Education

Date Posted: 

Monday, March 14, 2016

WBOY - On Monday morning, Davis & Elkins College hosted a symposium about the role of faith in higher education around the country, including how the presence of faith on college campuses can be combined with and enhance a student's education.

"We're hoping that this event helps us think critically about who we are, and how we help ourselves take issues of faith and religion and apply it as we try to equip them for success and for thoughtful engagement in the world," said D&E Chaplain Kevin Starcher.

Westminster College Chaplain Jim Mohr traveled from Pennsylvania for the event, and said that while faith and academic study may seem to be opposite in many ways, he thinks there's a part each can play in supporting the other.

"We need to be able to look at world religions, and be able to communicate with one another, be able to know why people do what they do as part of practicing their religions. So I think there is a role," said Mohr.

The symposium invited speakers from a variety of fields, including Doctors Rhonda Hustedt-Jacobsen and Douglas Jacobsen, who tackled the same question in a 2012 book. The Jacobsens said the call for discussions on faith is only growing.

"Religion is very visible in public life around the world and in the U.S., and students, frankly, are demanding that questions of meaning and purpose be part of their instruction," said Hustedt-Jacobsen.

For his part, Mohr hopes to take the discussions he has today and return to Pennsylvania with ways to share them with students on many levels.

"What's it mean to be a person of faith and grow in your faith tradition, look at your vocational discernment, be able to look at social engagement," said Mohr.