By Tim Case
Description: Read the following article to find out why spiritual growth plays a great role in studies. Follow the listed prompts and learn to develop your spirituality.
What Promotes Students’ Spiritual Growth?
Annually, a huge number of high school students enter colleges. For the majority of freshmen, the following four academic years is the period of acquiring knowledge and skills necessary for building a successful career in a specific area. In other words, college years are devoted to students’ professional and intellectual development. However, what about their spiritual growth?
In order to answer the above question, it is necessary to find out what spirituality is. Spirituality is a complicated many-sided notion that goes beyond such issues as egocentrism and ethnocentrism. It is the notion that identifies one’s ability to serve others, stay calm and concentrated in some nerve-racking situations.
If we help students develop their spiritually, we will get a chance to create a completely new generation of kinder, more friendly and sensitive people who put justice above everything else. Additionally, by encouraging students’ spiritual growth, we will teach them to cope with stress and be more resistant to anxiety.
Main Items Contributing to Students’ Spiritual Development
It can be often heard that college studies leave no room for students’ spiritual growth. However, it is rather a disputable statement. During the academic years, students communicate with people from different cultures, go abroad to participate in internship programs, attend diverse seminars, and join various communities. In other words, they broaden (and sometimes change) their outlook and gain valuable experience what definitely promotes their spiritual growth.
Yoga and meditation are also considered effective means of stimulating students’ spiritual growth.
If to explain students how to perceive their inner world and help them connect with their inner “ego”, we would help them develop not only their spiritual abilities but also the academic ones. Being aware of their spiritual peculiarities, it will be easier for students to decide on the goals they want to achieve, enhance their psychological development, and enjoy their college years.
Many students have already expressed a lively interest in such a notion as “spirituality” and become more and more involved into it. As to college administration, they have just started exploring the influence of spirituality on students, their performance, and higher education as a whole. Those administrating students should realize that they serve as mentors and play a crucial role in their (students) development. They should also cultivate their own spiritual practices to help students determine the right direction to move in. College administrators should realize that spiritual growth is essential for every person and therefore help students stimulate it.
In order to make the process of students’ spiritual development hassle-free, college administration should:
- Support the promotion of spirituality and assist in establishing its place in the area of higher education.
- Undertake extensive research on the modern flows of spirituality of college students.
- Provide a detailed explanation of the notion “spirituality.” Basically, spirituality means “metamorphosis,” “excellence,” “evolution,” etc. The mentioned terms represent the essence of the grandiose nature of spirituality and stress that any issues that have a deep meaning may relate to spiritual experience. It should be admitted that “spirituality” can be a tricky item to deal with unless its definition is differentiated from religion.
- Provide trainings encouraging experts to develop students’ spirituality and confidence.
- Incorporate spirituality into modern theories and studies. The theoretical dogmas that control our mind stating how learners should study and grow mentally do not pay enough attention to spirituality. Such a state of things results in student unawareness of spirituality and its specifics.
- Spare enough place for prayer and meditation on campus.
- Provide students, especially freshmen, with information about the activities and resources concerning spirituality available on campus. Inform students about the speeches, meetings, or any other events focused on spirituality.
- Put a great emphasis on the positive impact of spirituality on students’ health and well-being. This is a crucial aspect since, currently, many students are engaged in such activities as yoga, meditation, etc.
- Highlight the importance of spirituality for the development of students’ leadership skills. The purpose of higher education is to identify intelligent, goal-oriented and spiritually developed leaders. Some of the methods used for exercising leadership are closely connected with spirituality.
- Introduce spirituality into the programs undertaken on campus. According to studies, students are interested in the subjects relating to religion, spirituality, and different spiritual practices.
- Work with colleagues with the purpose of launching staff-student consultancy programs.
- Promote cooperation between local clergy and campus administration to provide students with opportunities to participate in the activities devoted to religious issues.
- Make spirituality an indispensable element of staff trainings. The staff dealing with student affairs should be able to frame their own spiritual vision and explain both students and their colleagues the principles they follow. At present, the organizations managing student affairs offer their members a great number of programs and data sources concentrated on spirituality. The college staff should realize that spirituality is a major factor determining student welfare to some extent.
Being involved in the process of exploring their inner world and inner “selves” though meditation, prayer, or any other related activities, students demonstrate significant spiritual growth.
What is more, students show intense interest in different spirituality-related issues if their college professors stimulate them to investigate those issues meaning provide them with respective resources, material etc. It should be also noted that professors’ support means a lot in this case.
One of the factors which also contributes to student spiritual development is the charity activities learners undertake. Here, it goes about help given to their classmates, money donated to charity, etc.
Being able to control one’s emotions in some unpleasant or nervous situations helps students concentrate their attention when taking exams, making speeches at the conferences, etc. what results in an excellent academic performance.
Realizing that being caring is one of the superior qualities people may have makes students decide to take up postgraduate studies and enhance understanding of racial issues.
It is necessary to admit that educational trends and practices focused on promoting spiritual growth have powerful effect on students.