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Today’s culture is dangerous for young people, especially during the formative college years. As students work hard to advance in their studies and discern their vocations, they are bombarded constantly by temptations and urged to give into the culture, rather than work to transform it for the better. Christendom’s student life office sees the effects of the culture on today’s youth and is working hard to combat it through men’s and women’s formational talks and activities, designed to give students the tools and advice needed to combat the culture and restore all things in Christ.

The college has always provided a variety of spiritual and morality-based talks for its students, providing them with helpful advice on dating, depression, how to combat addiction, and much more. The student life office decided to enhance these offerings for students in recent years, beginning with a monthly women’s formational series called “At the Well,” led by the female members of the student life team and local alumnae.

Vice president for student affairs Amanda Graf speaking at a recent At the Well.

The series quickly became one of the more popular offerings on campus, with women packing into the talks to hear from alumnae, professors, and other women on how to live as a confident, Catholic woman in the modern world. Senior Sarah Ziegler certainly was impacted by the series, and now sees it as one of the campus’ most essential offerings.

“I feel that At the Well is an important series for all women on campus because it brings us together to talk about issues that maybe we would not normally talk about on our own,” says Ziegler. “It fosters great conversations on topics that need to be discussed and creates an environment where it’s okay to ask questions and learn from the female role models we have here.”

Soon after the creation of At the Well, a men’s formational series was developed, called “Into the Deep.” It exists for the same purpose: to help form college students for the better and give them practical advice on how to navigate through relationships, the spiritual life, careers, and much more. Led by the male members of the student life team, Into the Deep brings the men together to hear from a variety of male role models, including chaplain Fr. Marcus Pollard, college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, and other faculty, staff, and alumni.

Residence director Tim Cook speaking at Into the Deep.

“Into the Deep offers our young men the opportunity to gather on a monthly basis for fellowship, formation and discussion,” says dean of students Tim Judge. “Into the Deep is in good company among other men’s faith formation on campus including altar serving, men’s sports teams and committed communities in house resident halls. But what sets Into the Deep apart, and is at the heart of its purpose, is addressing topics that effect young men the most and equipping them with an authentically Catholic and masculine perspective. It is a monthly opportunity for the men of campus to be encouraged by one another, directed by an older brother in the faith and to ask candid questions that would otherwise go unasked in mixed company.”

Due to the size of Christendom, both formational series also allow plenty of opportunities for students to ask questions of the speakers and to follow up with them for advice later. While there’s a scheduled speaker for each event, often these talks draw other members of the faculty, staff, and local alumni community, who offer their time and advice to students, as well.

A student speaks with professor Mary Stanford at an At the Well event.

Today’s culture can be difficult to navigate, especially if one is trying to achieve sainthood. Through its academic program, student life policies, culturally uplifting activities, and well-planned talks and mentorship activities, Christendom is working diligently to give students the tools they need to be good men and women in the greater world, who can impact the culture for the better and reach their final destination: Heaven.

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