South Dakota State University provides a multitude of opportunities for students to get involved. This includes opportunities based around culture, academics and activities, such as religious organizations that provide spiritual development, support and community.
To provide a glimpse into these on-campus faith-based groups, students involved with the Pius XII Catholic Newman Center, Oasis, the University Lutheran Center and Fellowship of Christian Athletes provided insight. While these four are featured, it’s important to note all groups provide a unique home to participants on campus, and students should explore to find the place that best fits them.
In a world that is always changing, finding a steady community can be a powerful tool for college students. Check out JacksClubHub for more information about faith-based organizations and how to become involved.
Jordan Von Seggern believes it is valuable to be involved regardless of the organization you choose because “it provides a solid foundation in the midst of the craziness of life. As a student trying to discern what life may look like, having a community that is willing to stand next to me is tremendous,” he said.
Von Seggern got involved in Oasis when his close friend asked him to help hold doors and greet people. Since then, he began serving with Oasis leadership.
“My favorite part of Oasis is the community. We challenge each other to encounter grace, grow in grace and give grace to others,” he said.
Oasis meets at Gracepoint Wesleyan Church in Brookings at 8 p.m. Sundays.
University Lutheran Center
“It’s hard to be a college student and be in a place where you can forget that and focus on something greater than yourself is really freeing,” says Josiah Crawford, a member of the University Lutheran Center.
Crawford, a third-year peer minister in the ULC, originally got involved just by showing up on a Sunday during his freshman year, and believes it is a safe place for growth and community. When discussing his favorite things about ULC, Crawford pointed out a quote printed in the bulletin every Sunday.
"In God’s name, we welcome all people from all walks of life, seriously. Cynics, doubters, seekers, atheists, agnostics and believers of all stripes; gays and straights; conservatives, progressives and independents; wealthy or poor; individuals and every sort of family; scoundrels, rascals, jerks, self-righteous and sinners of all types; those who are broken, lost and hopeless. ALL are welcome, as we are, in order that ALL may be transformed by God in Christ."
ULC meets Sundays at 11 a.m. at 1404 8th St. in Brookings, across the street from the Hyde Hall parking lot and diagonal from the Newman Center.
Pius XII Catholic Newman Center
“There are always people here that are so happy and welcoming,” said Lili Robinson, citing community as her favorite part of the Pius XII Catholic Newman Center on campus.
Robinson got involved as a freshman when she joined a Bible study and started regularly studying in the study spaces in the Newman Center. Since then, she met her best friends and now fiancé at her “home away from home.”
When asked why it is valuable to get involved in religious organizations, she said, “having something to believe in and something to live for just makes living easier and better. You are not constantly asking yourself the big questions anymore and have a place that you feel safe and understood at.”
The Newman Center is just south of Ben Riefel Hall. The doors are always open, and they welcome anyone, Catholic or not, to come and hang out, study and meet people. Sunday mass is held at 10:30 a.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and weekday mass Monday through Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Deyon Campbell was introduced to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes by a football teammate, and after beginning to attend Bible studies, has become more involved.
“My favorite thing about FCA is that it gives you an opportunity to grow in your faith with your teammates, who go through the same things you do every day and allows us to push each other,” Campbell said.
Though targeted toward student-athletes, FCA is open to all and usually meets Wednesdays at 8 p.m. at the Dykhouse Student Athlete Center. Due to COVID-19, however, meeting times are limited this year and held at Club 71 in Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium.