By Kamryn Wheatland | Guest Contributor
Students can seek spiritual support through Baylor University’s pastoral care department, senior coordinator for care and campus ministries Tyler Conway said. This might look like finding someone to pray with, talk with or look to for guidance.
“First and most important, we offer a safe place for students to come be themselves,” Conway said. “Here, they have a sense of belonging and an opportunity to be heard. We’re here to respond to spiritual concerns and provide healing.”
Pastoral care partners with Baylor’s Health Center and Counseling Center to provide the most beneficial support for each student.
“We recognize that to care for yourself means to care for yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually,” Conway said. “This is why we partner with other services at Baylor.”
Pastoral care is not just for times of crisis, Conway said. He said he often experiences moments of celebration and support working in spiritual life.
“I had a student come to my office after spending some time in prayer at the Bobo chapel,” Conway said. “She said that she had felt isolated from God for a long time, and after praying that morning, she had come to the realization that God loves her. She wanted to share this with me and others. She talked about her experience for an hour and thanked me for listening.”
Conway said if someone is debating whether to reach out, he encourages them to contact them and have a conversation. Pastoral care provides students the space to make it whatever they want it to be, he said.
“It doesn’t have to be about a crisis, and they don’t have to talk about something difficult if they don’t want to,” Conway said. “They could just come and get to know us and build relationships as well. They can talk about anything. Come meet us. We want to know you.”
Tyler senior and pastoral care user Anna Negem said she is always surprised about how fast the team responds to a student’s needs.
“A few of my friends and I have both called and emailed the pastoral care department in the past, and every time, Tyler Conway has answered the phone or has responded within 20 minutes,” Negem said. “You really feel a weight lifted off your shoulders when you can talk to trusted, educated people about hard things.”
Pastoral care is located at the corner of 5th Street and Speight Avenue, and students who are interested in the service are able to connect with pastoral care by email at Spiritual_Life@baylor.edu or by phone at 254-710-3517.