OLIVIA FOSTER, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
An often unnoticed part of campus life at Wartburg are the student ministers who oversee, set up, and manage the spiritual life program.
Many of the student ministers are religion majors, and some of them have majors that aren’t related to the job. They simply enjoy the role that student ministers serve as part of the community. In total, there are currently seven student ministers.
“I never planned on doing this. It just kind of happened,” Jenna Krogulski, student minister and exercise science major, said. “I started going to Sanctuary on Wednesday nights and after taking a leadership role there, Pastor Brian [Beckstrom] mentioned student ministry and now I’m here.”
Sanctuary and the role of student minister overlap, according to Krogulski. The musical worship experience of Sanctuary is something that most student ministers are also involved with. For many of them, the contemporary style of Sanctuary contrasts well with the more traditional style of chapel services.
“Compared to a lot of the theological and religious classes I’m taking, Sanctuary is a nice reminder of why I’m doing this,” Halle Siegler, religion major and student minister, said. “The fun environment and music of Sanctuary creates a very open and happy space. It’s freeing.”
While the Sanctuary services may not be part of the student minister role, they are an important part of the community. Students attend Sanctuary who don’t attend regular chapel services and feel welcomed, no matter what their religious affiliation is, according to the student ministers.
“A lot of people of different and non-Christian faiths come to Sanctuary and, honestly, it’s really enlightening,” said student minister and computer science major Braden Daniels. “Having the spaces for interfaith services where everyone is accepted no matter what they believe is a beautiful thing.”
Having casual, music-based worship at Sanctuary along with the non-denominational chapel students is something that other student ministers also feel is important.
“We actively try to have people from other faiths come in because we want all religions to coexist and not just coexist, but coexist well,” Jenna Troutman, religion major and student minister, said. “Being inclusive and considerate leaders is important to all of us, I think.”
Each of the student ministers has their own role. For Krogulski and Daniels, their role is managing social media. Siegler’s responsibility is greeting and hospitality. And Troutman’s role is running sound for chapel services.
Each is essential for not only helping chapel services run smoothly but also the growth of the student ministers.
“Before this, I never would have imagined working with social media,” Krogulski said. “I didn’t really think about the people behind the scenes who do this as a job, but It’s helped me to think about the importance of that kind of work other people might not even think of.”
Skills that the student ministers have learned on the job are ones they plan to carry with them into their future careers.
“I’m in the ministry program, so I’m actually working to become a pastor,” Troutman said. “So this experience of working at a chapel on a college campus, while it may be different from other chapels, is going to be really helpful in the future.”