Religious life opens up in recent years

Students may be surprised by the variety of religious groups at Queens, historically a Presbyterian school.

There’s Alpha Omega on Thursday nights, Campus Crusade on Wednesday nights, Chapel on Thursdays during college hour, Gospel Choir on Sunday afternoons, and student-run services Sunday nights.

Coming soon to campus will be a Muslim student group and a Jewish, Muslim, and Christian group that focuses on Palestine.

“Presbyterians support diversity,” said university Chaplain Dr. Diane Mowrey. “It’s my job to nurture everyone’s different faiths.”

Dr. Mowrey, Queens’ chaplain for 21 years, has experienced the changes that Queens has gone through religiously. “Queens used to be a Bible-based university where most students who came here were Christian. Now, we are more aware of national trends.”

Queens also supports diversity and giving back to the community, which Dr. Mowrey says “has been a tradition of the school for a long time, though this does not mean it falls under the Presbyterian beliefs.”

She is open to new ideas for religious groups, events or anything that students want to start. One recent advance is Facebook group, which includes a calendar of upcoming religious event. Students can access the group by going to facebook.com and typing in Queens Chapel; ask to join the group and you will be instantly updated on every post William Yates, Alice O’Toole, or Dr. Mowrey writes.

Dr. Mowrey is in the process of reaching out to more students. CUB (Campus Union Board) has a spiritual life team that sponsors spiritual events on campus. The Chapel sponsors trips to Guatemala and more recently Haiti. Students interested in going on either trip will participate in fundraising and letter writing to sponsors.

During the Haiti trip, “students will work hands-on in orphanages and teaching lessons to street kids,” Dr. Mowrey said. “The trip is fairly new,” she says.

The Guatemala trip takes a different approach, giving Queens students the opportunity to learn and work on community projects. “A three-hour class is required for this trip,” Dr. Mowrey said.

The Chapel also sponsors Room in the Inn on Tuesday nights until March. Queens hosts a family for a night, cooking, playing games and providing a place to sleep.

If you feel your faith isn’t supported or if you want to start up another religious group, you can contact Dr. Mowrey at mowreyd@queens.edu

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Published by students of Queens University of Charlotte, 1900 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, N.C. 28274.