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Students’ voices heard in spiritual survey

Campus survey sent out to gather spiritual perspectives from the student body.

By Laura Osterlund

The Office of Christian Formation and Church Relations sent out a survey to every Bethel student Sept. 17. It asked questions about the spiritual lives of students and the impact of the Bethel community.

The survey will be used to gauge where students are in their faith journeys and help campus pastors and spiritual leaders make any necessary changes in order to reach students more effectively.

After taking the survey, Ryken Kreps, junior philosophy and psychology student, wanted changes to occur that reflect the desires of the student body.

“I came here because it’s a Christian university first,” Kreps said. “I knew this was a place where I could experience God, and so I want that to be first and foremost in chapel and in worship.”

Many questions in the survey challenged students to think deeply about their faith in ways that they might not often consider.

“Faith is worth thinking about, not just worth feeling,” Dean of Campus Ministries Laurel Bunker said. “We’re trying to ask you questions so that we can make those head to heart connections, not simply ask you questions that may or may not have relevance. We want you to know that, whether they’re deep-hitting for you or not, that we’re listening and that it matters.”

Once they receive the survey results, the Office of Christian Formation and Church Relations plans to use the information to implement new changes that recognize the student feedback.

“Your voices are important,” Bunker said. “We want to say ‘We’re listening, we care, and we want to respond as a student-facing department to what matters to you to the best of our ability.’”

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