posted on: Thursday September 12, 2019
by Julia Acquavita ’22
It is the beginning of the school year, which means there are plenty of groups and clubs across campus looking for new faces to be a part of their organization here at Providence College. One group on campus that is eager for new members to join is Peer Ministry.
Peer Ministry is one of the many faith-based clubs on PC’s campus, allowing students to foster a deeper connection with not only their peers, but with the Church and God as well.
Through Peer Ministry, students are able to take part in activities that encourage self-reflection through prayer to God and communication with their peers.
Amal Mathew ’22, a first-year leader of Peer Ministry, described this club as the place “where faith meets college life.” Mathew expressed that Peer Ministry offers a unique experience for PC students where they can foster a transformative connection with God and deepen their faith even when at college.
Meeting in small groups from six to 12 student participants and two Peer Ministers, an authentic Christian community is nurtured through prayer and conversation.
Not many places provide the tools students need to maintain a religious lifestyle while at college. However, PC offers these tools to their students by highlighting the importance of a club like Peer Ministry.
Mathew continued to describe this club as one that aims to use discussion as a means to find and cultivate a deeper relationship with God and other students at PC.
In sharing experiences and engaging in meaningful conversations, students bridge campus life with the life of faith in the Catholic Church.
When asking Mathew how he got involved in Peer Ministry, he explained that he heard it “was an incredible way to make friends while simultaneously bearing witness to my faith in God.”
Having had very helpful leaders last year as a freshman, he was inspired to pursue the same path and become more engaged in the club. By applying to be a Peer Ministry leader, he was one step closer to taking on a more prominent role.
Mathew stated, “The sense of camaraderie I experienced during small-group meetings and the progress I made in my personal faith journey called me to share that with others.” These experiences led Mathews to pursue Peer Ministry on a deeper level.
Mathew reflected on the training he and his fellow Peer Ministry leaders took part in at the start of the semester. The training consisted of prayer and personal reflection, but also detailed the logistics of how to effectively coordinate and facilitate small groups as a peer minister.
A key factor Mathew said he learned is that Peer Ministers must be attentive listeners who are able to create an environment where students feel comfortable expressing what is on their minds.
Mathew encourages this year’s group of freshmen and other returning PC students to get involved with Peer Ministry by joining a group, consisting of bi-weekly meetings, where students can engage in deeper communication that they would not necessarily have with their other friends. In this way, people of different class years, academic majors, and social and spiritual lives can come together to grow closer to God and to their faith as a whole.
This program will provide students with the support system they never thought they needed, allowing them to build relationships they never thought they could have while in college.
This year, Peer Ministry hopes to emphasize that it is not just limited to small-group activities, but plans on hosting bigger events throughout the year with dates to be determined within the coming months.
Also, for those who wish to get involved and sign up for a Peer Ministry group, the sign-up is available during any time of the year. The first round of meetings start in late September, but anyone can join at any point. For more information, stop by Campus Ministry in the lower level of St. Dominic Chapel or contact Molly White (firstname.lastname@example.org).