Religious and Spiritual Life on Campus: All Are Welcome


On September 11, I went to McMurry Residential and Spiritual Life’s first bilingual Bible study in Carleton Chapel. I was slightly tardy, having just grabbed some dinner to-go, but made it just before Lidia Hernandez, a sophomore student, had begun the study. 

With a sweet voice and cheery disposition, she led us in prayer. Referencing her book, La Expedición by Beth Moore, she explained the significance of this Bible study, “We are on a journey with God. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you know Him. He wants to walk with us.”

Lidia switched back and forth from English to Spanish vernacular throughout the session. As she clarified her sentences for us amateur Spanish-speakers, a warm sensation filled my heart. It had been a long time since I had read the Bible with other people my age. I didn’t feel alone.

“Our mission is to build a community of love for all faiths and worldviews and to create an authentic and hospitable environment through which the students, faculty, and staff have opportunities to grow in their discipleship of Jesus Christ,” the Office of Residential and Spiritual Life declares.

R.S.L. hosts many events for students from all backgrounds to come together in worship. The combination of spiritual expression and social interaction reflects McMurry University’s valuing community. “Our Night of Worship [is] a wonderful way to de-stress with great praise music,” Jaden Jones, an interfaith hall chaplain, concurs.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, R.S.L. held a showing of “Coco” on the quad last week. With a few dozen people in attendance, the grass was covered with blankets and the air was brimming with communal vibrancy (not to mention the aromas of popcorn and Mexican candy). 

“It was a moment of relaxation. It was our way to celebrate Mexican independence and Hispanic Heritage Month. It just felt like home, you know?” Lidia recalls.

Jaden Jones looks forward to their Día de los Muertos celebration where they plan to bake pan de los muertos “as well as their celebration of Diwali… a festival of light that is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains all around the world.”

“We are here for all religions not just Christianity,” says Bethany Duke, a member of two years.

The members of R.S.L. find solidarity and fulfillment in what they do and hope to spread this light to others. 

“I joined because I have a calling to ministry. As a college student, [being a part of R.S.L.] means that when I have troubles in my life I have two women who are there for me through thick and thin two amazing chaplains who continue to guide me every day and challenge me and encourage me,” said Bethany Duke about her connection with Religious and Spiritual Life.

Bridget Brownrigg, the leader of the “Healing through Race, Faith, and Justice” events, has this to say, “I want to be a counselor for missionaries and [to learn] more about God, and even different religions. I have found a comforting community and have made some great friends! I am always learning about different perspectives, and I like that. Reverend Marty Cash Burless and Julia Puac-Romero have made this group a joy to be in. They are very supportive and inclusive.”

Joseph Watson, a senior, talks about his experience as a Praise and Worship Coordinator, “I have been involved with R.S.L. as a member of the chapel praise team since I was a freshman. It is a highlight of my week. R.S.L. is a big piece of my involvement on campus. I feel like, as a Christian, I am called to make Christ a part of my day to day [life] here at school. RSL provides opportunities for me to do that.”

The organization plans to hold many more events for the rest of the semester. Along with weekly events, R.S.L. announces special activities such as All Saints Chapel and Grocery Bingo in the Mabee Room. If you want to be notified make sure to check your McMurry campus email.