Greenville University is an established Christian university, so how can students of different religions or no religion at all fit in at the institution? Well, a club on campus is designed just for that.
The Interfaith Club is designed to provide people on Greenville’s campus with educational opportunities to learn about different faiths. In Interfaith, people can learn and understand more about themselves and others.
Interfaith was established at Greenville in the fall of 2020 after students Sophie Collings and Eve York and Professor Aubrey McClain pushed to have an organization such as this on campus. Sophie Collings graduated from GU in May 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology and a concentration in Biblical Studies, as well as a Ministry minor. Collings wanted a way for people to express themselves, their thoughts, and their difficulties on campus, so she pushed to start the Interfaith Club.
Ever since the startup of the Interfaith Club, students and other staff and faculty members have helped the organization grow. Currently, there are five people in leadership positions within the club. The GU staff and faculty that help lead Interfaith are Professor Aubrey McClain and Johnny Hinton. McClain is a sponsor, and Hinton assists McClain and also helps sponsor the club. Three students are a part of the Interfaith leadership team. Eve York is the media coordinator, Ali Kelso is the education coordinator, and Jacob Bandixen is the Chaplin.
Kelso explained that this club is for everyone, not just Christian students. Students (and/or staff and faculty) of any faith, or those who do not align with a specific faith, can all attend Interfaith Club events. “Interfaith is really for anybody and everybody on this campus. It’s about celebrating the diversity that each of us has,” states Kelso.
The Interfaith Club typically hosts two events per week. Every Wednesday at 5:00 pm, Interfaith holds a meeting in the Upper Union. Kelso typically teaches during these meetings about what Interfaith is and why it is important. This is also a time for guest speakers from different faith backgrounds to discuss different topics.
Every Friday morning the club hosts “Better Together.” This is a chill, small group setting where students come together to discuss [typically] broad topics. “Better Together” is a place where students can hear each other’s ideas and learn from and understand each other.
Other than those weekly events, Interfaith hosts bigger events that are based around holidays from other faith backgrounds. Events for Jewish holidays are held, along with events such as All Saints Day and Fall Traditions.
The Interfaith Club utilizes multiple avenues to advertise all of these events. They use Instagram, e-mails, the GU Experience app, and flyers to get the word out, so be on the lookout for them and mark your calendar for the next Interfaith Club event!