Smith Chapel launches student chaplain program


Submitted to The Simpsonian

Smith Chapel recently appointed seniors Eden Moad and Faithyna Leonard to serve as student chaplains.

by Abby Ludwig, Social Media Editor

This semester, Smith Chapel implemented a new initiative to help students with their spirituality – students now have access to student chaplains who will be ready to talk about anything they are struggling with regarding their spirituality or if they just need someone to talk to.

The student chaplains will be located in the first and second-year areas: Picken, Kresge, Buxton and Barker, with regular contact hours where they will be available in either a lounge, kitchen, or basement of the buildings. Contact hours vary depending on the chaplain. 

Mara Bailey, the head chaplain at Smith Chapel, said the idea came while trying to think of ways religious life could connect with the campus community differently.

“One of the approaches was rather than always doing things in the chapel, where else do people gather and what do we think we have to offer the campus,” Bailey said.

Bailey said it was religious life’s number one goal to be partners in the work of forming a community with resident life staff.

“The focus of the program is really on being a resource for residential students, but also coming alongside residence life staff, the CA’s [community advisor] in particular, as they work to build community in the residence halls,” Bailey said.

Bailey went on to say: “Especially thinking about after last year, first-year college students not having that typical first-year college experience, we felt like it was really important to focus on first and second-year areas to help foster community and engagement together.”

Seniors Eden Moad and Faithyna Leonard are taking part in being student chaplains this year.

“I decided to be a Student Chaplain because I’ve experienced a lot of loneliness on this campus at different times and want to do everything I can to help create stronger bonds in our campus community during my fifth and final year at Simpson,” Moad said.

Moad is also hoping to foster closer friendships with second and third-year students living in Buxton and Picken.

I hope the residents I am working with come away from this year with a stronger base of support and an invigorated drive to go out and find their people,” Moad said.

Smith Chapel recently appointed seniors Eden Moad and Faithyna Leonard to serve as student chaplains.
(Submitted to The Simpsonian)

Faithyna Leonard has always enjoyed being a resource and a friendly face to the first years, making her decision to be a student chaplain easy.

“I am hoping to gain meaningful relationships through this program and provide support for resident life. I also am hoping to give the first years a resource to come for support and a friendly face to recognize on campus,” Leonard said.

Both Leonard and Moad plan on hosting events like game nights, trivia, baking and movie nights.

Moad’s location and contact hours are Buxton and Picken, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 PM. They will be switching between the buildings.

Leonard’s location and contact hours are Monday and Thursday between 7:00 to 8:00 PM in Kresge’s first-floor lounge.

Both Mara Bailey and the student chaplains want to make it known that these contact hours are for anyone, not just those of a specific religion or belief.