Chapel, D-groups, Bible classes, ministries – there are many ways to become spiritually involved here at PLNU. But balancing all of these activities on top of academic work can become overwhelming.
For some students, attending chapel multiple days a week to earn credits can sometimes feel like a chore.
“Making it a requirement and receiving a fine if you don’t receive the number of chapels, can give it a negative feeling because it feels like you’re forced to go at times,” said sophomore Tabitha Groves.
Melanie Wolf, Associate Director of Chaplaincy Ministries at PLNU, has decided to try something new: Spiritual Mentoring. A program starting this semester, Spiritual Mentoring will be put on by Spiritual Development to help students grow in their faith in a personal and comfortable way, on their own time.
The goal of this program is to help students develop a Christ-centered relationship with someone of a mature faith who can help them grow in their walk with God.
“College is a time when the role of a spiritual mentor can be most significant,” said Wolf.
In the past, Wolf had received requests from students to begin a spiritual mentoring program and she decided that it would be a great idea.
“I had many mentors throughout college and they have been significant parts in my walk,” she says.
To test it out, she put together a “trial run” this past semester with sophomore Jessica Hong and her mentor, Department Assistant in the Fermanian School of Business, Chloe Sparacino.
“(Having a mentor) helped me grow by learning to be vulnerable and honest with the things I struggle with and allowing people to step in and be God’s light for guidance, prayer, and love,” Hong says. “I’ve learned so much about what it means to be a woman of God the more I talk with (Sparacino).”
Yet the mentee is not the only one who is able to grow through this experience.
“We both were able to help each other out,” Sparacino says. “That’s my philosophy with spiritual mentoring, I’m getting just as much mentoring from her as she is from me.”
With this program, students who sign up to receive a mentor will be asked questions about themselves and their availability, and can either request a specific mentor or will be placed with someone who is compatible. Wolf says it is her hope that not only PLNU faculty and staff will be willing to take on mentoring positions but that alumni and members of the community and local churches will do so as well.
Hong says she truly enjoyed having a mentor and encourages other students to get involved in the program.
“You can never have too many mentors! God is speaking through them to provide guidance and build trust,” she says. “These mentors are living testimonies of God’s faithfulness and walking with them is not only a joy but a sign of hope.”