Welcome to the Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community. Our leadership team works to support and network professionals, students, faculty, and other stakeholders who are invested in enhancing conversations, research, and best practices for spirituality, secularism, and religion in higher education. We look forward to your engagement and feedback and please let us know how we can best support you in this work.
The NASPA community joins those around the world who mourn the horrific attack at the Al Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand.
These new trends demonstrate that spirituality and religion in higher education is a quickly growing and evolving field with exciting developments happening all the time. There is an eagerness in our knowledge community to apply our passion for this work to the challenges and opportunities of our time, as we know humanity’s greatest achievements and struggles are closely intertwined with how people and communities answer life’s biggest questions. As student affairs professionals work to support all the identities that students bring to the table, it is important that they remain up to speed with the latest discoveries in and best practices for encouraging students’ religious, spiritual, and nonreligious identity formation.
In preparation for the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference, the Spirituality and Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community (SRHE KC) developed a program guide designed to draw attendees’ attention to programs, events, and other information of particular interest to attendees looking to engage with the topic of spirituality and religion in higher education.
Institutions seeking ways to address the increasing divisiveness plaguing our nation’s political discourse are challenged with balancing strong respect for equity and inclusion with protecting free speech. Contrary to inclusion and diversity and freedom of expression being at odds, however, campus leaders can take proactive steps to establish both meaningful protections for those who have experienced past trauma and create spaces for open and honest discourse on fraught topics. For some institutions, re-examining institutional speech and expression policies to identify how they can be made less reliant on free speech zones while still allowing for appropriate planning for campus safety, may bring together campus leaders, students, and the community around a concrete task. Establishing a practice of deliberative dialogue across topics of passionately held different opinions allows for greater exploration and creates capacity for empathy and discussion. Providing resources for higher education professionals for use of safe spaces in pedagogically appropriate ways can help students with histories of trauma, from veterans to survivors of abuse, engage more fully with their educations. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy Teri Lyn Hinds provides starting points and considerations for these approaches.
Don’t let the deadline pass you by! Place a nominate for one of the four awards listed below – the process is minimal. This is a special occasion to acknowledge friends and colleagues in such a big way. Selected recipients will be recognized at the 2019 NASPA Conference in Los Angeles, March 9 - 13.
For many of us, myself included, I approached diversity work with a lens of power and privilege, yes or no, right or wrong, majority and minority, which was extremely effective in my work for many years. Yet, when I began studying ethics, and spirituality, and engulfed myself in religion I began to explore another paradigm- religious pluralism. I began to wonder, as someone who prides herself on being open, and inclusive, when did I become so binary in my thinking? When did I forget both/ and? And when did seeking to understand become about finding absolutes?