Each day, it becomes evident that people are starved by the emptiness of today’s secular culture — especially on college campuses. There is a hunger for truth in what people are reading and consuming in their entertainment, but it can be hard to find good, uplifting content amidst all the noise. Recognizing this problem, Christendom students Isabel Cumbelich and Zoe Grimm decided to make a difference in the culture here and now through a new student-run magazine called Metanoia Magazine: an outlet for students to communicate the truths learned at Christendom through articles, short stories, and more.
Already, the first issue of the magazine is available across Christendom’s campus, with student-written articles focusing on how to win the culture war, today’s pornography crisis, fake news and the free press, and more. The magazine, which features an innovative and beautiful design, came to publication remarkably quickly, after it was first conceived by Cumbelich and Grimm back in September.
“Metanoia Magazine was born in mid-September from the musings of friends around sun dappled picnic tables and in not-so-hushed voices in the library,” recalls Cumbelich. “In every free moment, Zoë and I would throw another magazine name idea at each other. As the list of names grew longer, so did the ideas for how this new magazine would operate, how we could intrigue and inspire Christendom students. We wanted to create something that would fly off the shelves as soon as it was published and would offer an opportunity for driven students to learn professional skills and develop their talents.”
As Cumbelich and Grimm continued to envision what the magazine would look like, they began to reach out to other students to write articles and stories, design layout spreads, create artwork, and handle marketing of the magazine. They further made the decision to partner closely with college faculty and staff in fully realizing their vision of the magazine.
“The faculty have been an incredible resource to us, with ample experience in academic and journalistic writing, and expert knowledge in their respective fields of study,” says Cumbelich. “The staff, namely Christendom’s marketing team, has provided priceless guidance to the design team.”
By the time late October rolled around, Metanoia had a staff of approximately 20 major contributors working to bring the first issue to life by November 17. Editors began working closely with the writers of the magazine, ensuring that each piece was as engaging and relevant as possible. On the design side, the magazine’s artists and designers worked in the Adobe suite, gaining valuable skills while laying out each page of the magazine in an aesthetically pleasing way. Finally, the social media and marketing team focused on getting the community excited about the magazine in advance through Instagram, posters and fliers, and consistent engagement through word of mouth.
The entire process of the magazine’s creation was treated with the same level of attention as a magazine of a much larger scale, and purposefully so. From the beginning of the magazine, the staff wanted it to be as professional and nourishing as possible to each reader. That level of detail required a high level of commitment from each staff member to the mission of the magazine — a mission that Cumbelich and Grimm hope becomes ingrained at the college for years to come.
“Christendom students have the opportunity to learn lessons and participate in a rich culture which feeds the soul,” says Grimm. “The world is in desperate need of this nourishment. So, it is crucial that Christendom students be able to communicate the truths which we learn and live here. And what better way to make these lessons our own than by writing, creating, and discussing? A student magazine is the perfect place for students to begin applying what we have learned in a way which will attract other students to do the same.”
The hard deadline and short turnaround time only gave the staff more passion with the first issue, according to Cumbelich and Grimm. On November 17, the first issue of Metanoia Magazine released as planned, with a launch party thrown a few days after with students, staff, and faculty in attendance.
Already, the team is working hard on the second issue, with the staff hoping to publish four issues each year. Looking ahead, Cumbelich and Grimm want the magazine to become an ongoing part of the Christendom community, with students, faculty, staff, and other interested readers able to see the talent of Christendom’s student writers and creators for years to come.
“We hope Metanoia will become deeply ingrained in Christendom culture, so that all students read it, and that most participate in it at least once,” says Cumbelich. “In addition to publishing four issues per year, we hope to build a digital version of the magazine and will likely expand our content published on that platform to include athletics, news, and the like. In the meantime, we are actively recruiting students to further populate Metanoia with fresh talents, and creative ideas.”
For students interested in pursuing journalism, publishing, story-writing, graphic design, and more, Metanoia is another outlet for them to improve their skillsets and boost their resumes before even leaving the college. Even more, it’s a way for them to engage with today’s culture in a meaningful way, providing the truths learned at Christendom to a world hungry for them.