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Grow: Spiritual Development

Saint Louis University’s Department of Campus Ministry offers many opportunities for you to grow in your understanding and integration of the Christian faith and for you to participate more fully in the life of your faith communities.

Journey Spiritual Life Communities 

Connect. Reflect. Transform.

  • Who We Are: The mission of the Journey Program at Saint Louis University is to empower students to experience transformative spiritual growth through opportunities to connect and reflect in the Ignatian tradition.
  • What We Do: Students of all walks of life and faith traditions gather each week in small intentional communities to reflect on the movement of God in their lives. Communities are led by Campus Ministers, Jesuits in formation, and experienced student leaders.
  • Join Us if You Seek to:
    • Belong to a life-giving spiritual community
    • Create genuine, lasting connections with others
    • Cultivate a deeper relationship with God
    • Learn how to integrate Ignatian spirituality into daily living
    • Grow in self-understanding
    • Experience transformative growth
    • Discover new ways to pray, rest, serve, and grow at SLU

Get Involved With Journey Spiritual Life Communities

The sign-up deadline for SLU's Fall 2022 Journey Communities is Friday, September 16, 2022. Questions? Email Campus Minister Becca Muder at becca.muder@slu.edu.

We also encourage you to follow us on Instagram for upcoming event information and important updates @slu_journeyprogram.

Register for a Fall 2022 Journey Community

Fall 2022 Offerings

Just as St. Ignatius journeyed across Spain, France, Italy and more during his lifetime, you will also journey along your own path during your time at SLU, making your way across all kinds of unfamiliar terrain.

Ignatius had good friends like Francis Xavier and Peter Faber with whom he shared community and by whom he was challenged to grow closer to God. We know how crucial it is for you to also find authentic companions along your journey, and we hope the Journey Program can be with you on the way.

First-Year Communities

SLU’s newest students are invited to create new connections within these residence-hall-based communities. Each community will learn how Ignatian spirituality can guide and enrich all aspects of one’s college experience. These communities are facilitated by Campus Ministers Christy Hicks Aydt, Becca Muder and Jim Roach. 

Health Care Related Majors Community

This community provides students on SLU’s medical school campus with the opportunity to discern and deepen their vocation to the healthcare field. As a community, students explore how Ignatian spirituality informs their call to help and heal. This community is facilitated by Campus Minister Erin Fitzpatrick. 

LGBTQ+ Community

This community is specifically for students identifying as LGBTQ+. As a community, students accompany one another as they navigate Ignatian spirituality’s intersection with LGBTQ identity. This community is facilitated by Kaylee Gutzke, Campus Ministry undergraduate intern, with Campus Minister Patrick Cousins. 

Spanish-Speaking Community

This community explores the movement of God in all things through the lens of Ignatian spirituality while practicing Spanish. Regardless of your faith tradition or degree of fluency in Spanish, you are invited to join. This community is facilitated by Manny Diaz, Aquinas Institute of Theology Campus Ministry intern.

Fraternity and Sorority Life Community

This community is for students that are a part of social Greek life at SLU to build a spiritual community across chapters. This community is facilitated by Rissy Emanuel, Campus Ministry undergraduate intern.

Women's Spirituality Community 

This community seeks to unite women at all points along their SLU journey to explore the joys and challenges of being a woman in the Church and to build an empowering community of support. This community is led by Campus Minister Cynthia Enghauser.

Faith in Action Community

This community meets periodically to visit the cathedrals, temples, mosques, museums, and historical sites that have made the diverse spiritual expressions present in St. Louis what they are today. This community is facilitated by Campus Minister Patrick Cousins. 

Social Justice Scripture Study Community 

This scripture study will explore what it means to be contemplatives in action through delving into Old Testament biblical prophetic tradition. This community is facilitated by Quique Riojas, Campus Ministry liturgy assistant, with Campus Minister Jim Roach.

Saints Among Us Community

Thomas Merton once said, “For me to be a saint means to be myself.” This community will explore the lives of modern-day saints from all walks of life and faith traditions to understand how becoming one’s true self allows for a deeper relationship with God, self, and the common good. This community is facilitated by campus ministers Christy Hicks Aydt and Becca Muder. 

Ignatius In Real Life Community

This community seeks to explore the integration of Ignatian spirituality into all aspects of one’s daily life. This community is facilitated by Jesuit in Formation Noah Banasiewicz.

Spiritual Direction

If you would like to develop a more meaningful spiritual or religious life, you may find a one-on-one relationship with a trained spiritual director beneficial. Spiritual direction creates a space for you to honestly evaluate your life, seek the meaning behind important decisions about the future and to find a pathway to better understand who God is for you … and who you are for God.

This process can be helpful whether you want to further develop an existing prayerful relationship with God, or if you find that you struggle in your faith and need encouragement.

The time spent in spiritual direction is unique to you, but a typical session lasts about 45-60 minutes and takes place about once a month. God works through all things, so there are really no limits to what can be shared. The director listens to you, and together you’ll seek to hear how God is working in your life.

Some directors may charge a small fee, so it's best to discuss this prior to meeting. 

Find a Spiritual Director

Please note: Some spiritual directors are trained pastoral or psychological counselors, but problem solving or therapy is not the focus. The focus of a spiritual direction relationship is your experience of God. Therapeutic counseling is available through University Counseling at 314-977-8255.

Bereavement Ministry

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear." -C.S Lewis, A Grief Observed

“We are not adrift in chaos. To me that is the most fortifying, the most stabilizing, the most peace-giving thing that I know about anything in the universe. Every time that things have seemingly fallen apart in my life, I have gone back to those things that do not change. Nothing in the universe can ever change those facts. [Jesus] loves me. I am not at the mercy of chance.” -Elisabeth Elliott, Suffering Is Never for Nothing

“There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.” -St. Oscar Romero

"Jesus wept." -John 11:35

Sharing your grief — in a safe space with trusted people who have known similar sorrows — is one way to help make some sense of the complexity of thoughts, feelings and emotions that arise amidst a loss. If you’re a SLU student grieving the loss of a loved one and you’d like Jim to reach out to you, please click here to connect with him. 

The Department of Campus Ministry sponsors a student-only Grief Support Group get-together via Zoom from 4-5 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month. The meeting ID is 999 2474 2599. For more information, contact Jim Roach (jim.roach@slu.edu) or Becca Muder (becca.muder@slu.edu)."

Bereavement Support Apps

SLU Department of Campus Ministry, while having no affiliation with or responsibility for any content generated by the resources, recognizes that some of these may have benefit for those experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one. This list is not meant to be construed as exhaustive, merely suggestive. If you would like to suggest any platforms that you want to suggest for SLU students, email Campus Minister Jim Roach at jim.roach@slu.edu to let him know.

  • A Safe Place: "The Safe Place" Is a Minority Mental Health App geared towards the Black Community”
  • Actively Moving Forward: “Actively Moving Forward (AMF) is a non-profit whose mission is to help support, empower and connect grieving young adults from coast-to-coast.
  • Annie’s Hope: Annie’s Hope is a St. Louis-based nonprofit serving kids, teens and their families who grieve a death.” 
  • Ayana Therapy: Online mental health therapy for marginalized and intersectional communities.
  • Calm: “Take a deep breath. Train your mind to sleep more, stress less and live better.”
  • Exhale App: “Cultivating brave spaces where biwoc belong.”
  • Happify: “Overcome negative thoughts, stress and life’s challenges with science-based activities and games.”
  • Joyster:  “Joyster is an interactive journal bringing self-awareness by tracking symptoms, patterns, triggers, meals, activities, and more. Your side kick will help you build healthy habits, self-care and mindfulness.”
  • Liberate: "Liberate is the #1 meditation app for the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community."
  • Minds of the Culture: “Created and designed by therapist Dr. Chanda Reynolds, this mobile app is a tool to help the Black community cope with mental health.
  • Red Bird Ministries: “We are a Catholic grief support ministry providing support for families who have had to face the unthinkable loss of a child.”
  • Sanvello: “A place to feel better, wherever you go: Self-care, peer support, coaching and therapy. Download from the App Store of Google Play.”
  • Shine: “We’re on a mission to make caring for your mental and emotional health easier, more representative and more inclusive— of all of our experiences.”
  • Therapy for Black Men: "Strength still needs support."
  • 7 Cups: “Remove the barriers, get the support. Community of kind, compassionate listeners who provide anonymous and free emotional support.” 
  • Yoga for Grief -  "Relieve stress caused by trauma and bring loving awareness to guide the mind and heart to the present moment. This 26-minute session is designed to hold you and comfort you during times of grief or sadness."

Other Spiritual Guidance

Pastoral Conversations

SLU’s campus ministry staff members are available for individual conversations — these can be serious, light or anything in between. Appointments can be set up ahead of time by contacting a campus minister, but drop-ins are always welcome.

Campus ministers can assist you with transitions, evolving relationships and other life issues. They also foster prayer and faith development and discernment about your life direction, career or vocation.

Marriage Preparation

St. Francis Xavier College Church can assist engaged couples in meeting church requirements for marriage preparation.


Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

If you are not currently a member of the Catholic faith, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process through which you may become a full member of the church. Full membership involves a committed formation process that culminates in the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation and Eucharist.

This process involves a journey of faith and conversion through which you will be introduced to the beliefs, life, liturgy and apostolic work of the Catholic Church.

The Rite of Christian Initiation, or RCIA, is designed primarily for those seeking baptism. Because baptized Christians from other denominations may seek membership in the Catholic Church, the RCIA process is adapted to their needs as well. RCIA is also open to baptized but "unchurched" Catholics who would like to complete their initiation by receiving confirmation.

Meetings are held on Sundays from 7-8:30 p.m. Contact Father Nick Smith at 314-977-1535 or nicholas.smith@slu.edu.

Faith and Leadership

You can grow as a leader in your faith community by applying through campus ministry to assist with immersion experiences, CLCs, retreat teams, liturgy planning and more. Formation opportunities focus on community, Ignatian spirituality, social justice and solidarity. Contact any campus minister to explore leadership opportunities.