While last year, students were forced to live life through Zoom, this year, students are excited to return to face-to-face activities, including campus ministry. The return of on-campus ministries has been a highlight for Samford students in a world emerging out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the integration of safety protocols, such as the indoor mask mandate, many ministries across campus have been able to return in person. Campus ministries are key parts of Samford culture. Whether it is joining a cadre or attending small groups off campus, many prospective students are drawn to the Christ-centered community Samford offers.
Cadres are weekly small groups that allow students to receive convocation credit. Students need 60 convocation credits by the time of their graduation, and many enjoy the variety of topics that cadres offer. From taking a cadre titled “How Men Think” to “Self Care is Biblical,” students no longer have to log onto Zoom to participate and can make new connections that are not through a screen.
Convocation has also returned in person. Students can now gather in the Wright Center every Tuesday at 10 a.m. for worship and on Thursday mornings in Reid Chapel to listen to lectures with their friends and classmates.
Other ministries have returned to campus, including Samford RUF. Last year, RUF was mainly remote, but now they offer a wide range of opportunities for fellowship such as Bible studies and their weekly Large Group in Hodges Chapel.
Katherine Ratcheford recently attended RUF for the first time, and as an off-campus student, said she understands the importance of community.
“I think it’s so awesome that things are back in person again especially when it comes to organizations like RUF,” Ratcheford said. “It’s so important to have a community of fellow christians to surround yourself with who can uplift and encourage you in your faith and RUF really provides that. There’s also something so special worshipping God and community, especially after COVID-19 and not being able to do that for a long time.”
Samford United has returned to campus this year, gathering on Wednesday nights in Reid Chapel. While Multiply Groups mainly stayed in-person last year, they are eager to return to full operations and host more activities throughout the semester.
Although listening to convocation online last year was convenient, students said they enjoy in-person community and are excited for this return to more normal operations.