COMMISSION FOR SPIRITUALITY, FAITH, RELIGION, & MEANING
The ACPA Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, & Meaning (CSFRM) will provide ACPA members an arena within which to conduct research and assessment, strengthen their professional competencies, and enrich their self-knowledge and professional knowledge about issues related to meaning-making, specifically spirituality, faith, religion, belief, and existentialism within the context of higher education. In addition, acting within the ACPA governance structure and with the ACPA International Office, CSFRM will assist in positioning ACPA to be an informed voice on existential pursuits of meaning-making, including spirituality, faith, religion, and belief as they relate to student development, the administration of student affairs, and the organization of governance structures within a college, community college, or university setting. These efforts will include examining various modes of pursuing meaning-making in the contextual experience of both the U.S. and the global higher education community (Adopted by the CSFRM Directorate Body, October 2009).
Spearheaded by the directorate of CSFRM and working with the ACPA International Office and the broader membership of CSFRM, this task force will address the Association’s Professional Competencies and Strategic Goals in the following manner:
Knowledge and Competencies
- Best Practices that promote pluralism for religion and belief in college, community college, and university environments
- Identify and promote best practices in institutional approaches to supporting the search for meaning by students, faculty, and staff convey these best practices through convention programs and professional development opportunities (such as Webinars, publications, etc.)
- Through these activities, we aim to assist ACPA members in developing professional competency in “leadership and administration/management”
- Research engagement with past and current trends related to spirituality, faith, religion, and meaning in the lives of college, community college, and university students
- Contribute to the knowledge base in the field on the relationship of spirituality and faith development to other aspects of student development, including cognitive, moral, and identity development
- Empirically examine the faith development process as it relates to varying faith traditions and spiritual practices.
- Support the empirical examination of secular humanist and non-deistic forms of meaning making and their relationships to cognitive, moral, and identity development
- Disseminate these research findings with the membership via existing ACPA publications and other outlets developed in collaboration with the International Office
- Through these activities, we aim to build competency in “assessment, evaluation and other research activities”
Professional and Career Development
- Resources to assist in informed advancement:
- Develop professional and career development resources to provide ongoing skill development and continuing education as a source for creative and informed methods of building bridges among all meaning-making communities on campus
- Strive to highlight the uniqueness of perspectives related to differences of faith and belief, including non-deistic and secular humanist traditions
- These resources will assist ACPA members to develop additional professional competency in “pluralism and inclusion”
- Spaces for personal exploration and development
- Encourage and support ACPA members to explore their own spiritual, religious, secular humanist, and/or faith development in a supportive, educational, and developmental environment
Membership and Recruitment
- ACPA as a leader in spirituality and faith development topics as they pertain to students
- CSFRM aims to position ACPA as a leader and informed voice on student spirituality and spiritual/faith/existential development in college, community college, and university communities.
- We wish to assist ACPA members in developing further competence in “student learning and development”, as well as in “advising and helping”
- Building relationships with other organizations
- Those organizations could include Hillel; Newman Center; Muslim Student Associations; Association for Christians in Student Development; the Society for Spirituality, Theology, and Health; and other professional organizations with an interest and focus on issues of spirituality and faith for young adults on the college, community college or university campus.
- The commission will seek to locate groups that support the faith development of students but who are not necessarily religiously affiliated, including secular humanist, and non-deistic perspectives.
ACPA (2008). ACPA Governing Board Strategic Goals 2008-2013. Washington, DC: Author. Downloadable within the ACPA Leadership Section.
- Love, P., Bleiberg, S, Carpenter, S., Haggerty, B., Hoffman, D., Janosik, S., et al. (2007).Professional competencies: A report of the steering committee on professional competencies, July 6, 2007. Washington, DC: ACPA. Retrieved July 28, 2008 fromhttp://www.myacpa.org/au/governance/