Meeting New Students
In the last two weeks, I have had the joy of meeting new students in most of the Consortium Schools. Already I see that today’s students are often ecumenically shaped just as they are socially networked. I have visited them:
* at a retreat for Leland students (with the largest entering class ever);
* at the orientation for Howard students (committed, inquisitive, and ready);
* at the orientation for Dominican House students (15 student brothers, and 30 plus others);
* at a patio reception for Wesley students (large, diverse, and multi-talented group);
* at the orientation for WTU students (men and women, religious and lay ready for study);
* at the orientation for Catholic University STSR students (academic, pastoral, pontifical and other degree students)
One thing I ask each of the student groups is whether or not we live in a “post-ecumenical age,” and to test that claim by recounting their own ecumenical narratives. Quickly, by conversing with a partner, most students realize they have been influenced by a variety of traditions of Christianity (sometimes within their own tradition–as Catholic, Baptists, and others come in many forms), and often through the influence of Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, or Orthodox mentors and family members. We live in ecumenical streams, so I encourage students to continue to swim in that current, in a more intentional way through their studies.
The Consortium is here to aid that journey–through cross registration, borrowing and research at other libraries, through student events and conversation, and more! For those who “get the bug” of Ecumenical or interfaith studies, we also offer Certificates in Ecumenism and Muslim-Christian studies, that help concentrate course work in these fields. Welcome to all the new students–not only to your school, the Consortium family, but the Lord’s work of building relationship that promote unity and understanding.