Walking the Campus (Growing Spiritually in the Academic Life Series)

At Emerging Scholars Network, we love to crowdsource ideas for following Christ faithfully and serving others well in the academic life. In the 2018/2019 academic year, we’ve been sharing brief insights on how to grow spiritually in the academic life. Read the series to date here. For more of Jamie Noyd’s thoughtful writing for ESN, click here

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. – Jeremiah 6:26
What might it mean to see the campus as a crossroads? As a place of intersection where the church and academia meet? Over the past year I have spent time walking across the University of Cincinnati at least once a week, praying that my eyes would be open to see this place as God does. Some days the prayers come naturally, while during others it seems like I’m just repeating what I said last week. Either way, the discipline of being present on campus and looking has slowly been changing my own heart and helping me to recognize the presence of God’s kingdom in this place.  It has also been challenging me to step into this crossroads more fully.
As you take time to walk on campus look at the buildings – old and new – and pray for the work going on in them. Look at posters of upcoming lectures and events. Are you drawn to attend any of them?  How can you pray for them? Ask for compassion for the students, faculty, and staff walking past – and pray that they may be blessed. Ask God to show you the good way to live out the good news on campus and the courage to walk in it. 
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Jamie Noyd

Jamie serves with IVCF Graduate and Faculty Ministries as campus staff at the University of Cincinnati (UC) and Northern Kentucky University (NKU). She has spent most of her life in the vicinity of the academy - from being the daughter of a professor to attending college herself. Upon returning to Cincinnati after four years in the Northeast, she took literature classes in her spare time while working as an economic analyst. She eventually earned an M.A. in English and then couldn’t stop. While serving as a program director for Notre Dame AmeriCorps in Cincinnati she completed her doctoral research in literature and religion - exploring the idea of literary pilgrimage. Through this life journey she has continued to experience and learn how Christ is at the center of all life - even in the university.

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  • rickmattsonoutreach@gmail.com'
    Rick Mattson commented on January 16, 2019 Reply

    Jamie, having walked across the University of Cincinnati with you last fall, I’m reminded to watch and see and pray. And I’m reminded that the Lord goes before us, doing his work and inviting us into it. Thanks for this essay!

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