Goucher College incorporates faith into global experience

Goucher College may not track the faith of its students, yet plenty of opportunities are present for students to tap into their own in between hitting the books.

“I believe that being in touch with their faith,” said Geraldine Echebiri, former president of Jubilate Deo, a small Catholic student group, “will give students the inner support and motivation they need to succeed in college. When not doing well in courses, students need to tap into their faith to persevere and not give up.”

Although students’ school commitments do not allow the group to operate at full potential, it hosts a dinner party at the start of each semester, participates in activities hosted by Towson University’s Catholic student group, and connects students to local parishes like Immaculate Conception, Towson, and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Baynesville.

Having a chapel helps incorporate multidenominational religion into college life. Open daily for silence, solitude and prayer, Haebler Memorial Chapel is the site of religious celebrations surrounding Easter and Advent, and a gathering place for reflection.

Sunday Mass is offered at 7 p.m. and the Angelus and rosary are said on Tuesdays at noon.

The school’s office of religious and spiritual life, including a chaplain, works with students, faculty, and staff “to help them find ways to explore and express their spiritual values and commitments,” said Kristen Keener, director of media relations, “their religious traditions, their search for meaning and value, and their questions.”

Besides Jubilate Deo, other religious and spiritual life clubs have formed and offer weekly events and activities.

Goucher offers 31 majors, 17 intercollegiate sports teams and more than 60 clubs, intramural teams and organizations. Recently it became the first American college to require study abroad.

Administrators believe international awareness is a key to the times and study-abroad experiences are integral to a complete liberal arts education.

During enrollment, students learn about the expectation of fulfilling the study-abroad component while attending Goucher.

Ms. Keener said that studying around the world can teach students more than simply reading books or attending classes. Students are encouraged to become immersed in different languages, cultures and traditions to view how other countries’ politics, history and technologies affect their lives.

The college’s rigorous curriculum is complemented “with abundant opportunities for hands-on experience in the world,” she said. “Through internships, community service and international experiences – and a first-rate academic program – Goucher teaches its students to engage the world as true global citizens.”


Location: Towson

Founded: 1885

Enrollment: 1,440 undergraduate

Tuition and fees: $32,636 per year

Calling card: First American college to require study abroad.

Web: www.goucher.edu

Where to worship: On campus chapel; Immaculate Conception, Towson; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Baynesville; St. Pius X, Rodgers Forge.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.