Young Life College provides students a place to feel safe, connect to religion

April 24, 2018

Olivia Langley

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Helping students while connecting them to Christianity is the goal of Young Life College.

    “Our first objective is just to help college students. I think college is a scary place and it’s a lot harder to meet people than in high school. (Young Life College) can help enrich college life,” said club president Joe Hollmann, a senior philosophy major.

    Part of an international organization, Young Life College is a religious club on campus that seeks to provide a gathering place for students regardless of their religion and be “energized in a community that seeks to pursue Jesus in real and authentic ways,” according to their Mountain Lion Connect page.

    According to Hollmann, Young Life College began at UCCS in 2014. This semester, there are 40 – 50 members who are given the opportunity to not only practice faith but decide how they want to pursue it.

    “We really want to offer an invitation to what the message of Jesus was about and really explore that through the stories and the scripture,” he said.

    “We focus on community and meeting new people. Our Tuesday night meetings are devoted to playing games, mingling time, going out to eat and bible study. We’ll also go bowling, to the mall and laser tag.”

    Senior business administration major Tessa Bronner got involved with Young Life College after she attended a Club Fair four years ago. The main reason she became a member was because of the welcoming community she found within the club.

    “I kept coming back and started really finding a good community here. It’s become a good place for me in college,” said Bronner.

    Activities engage new members and help them have an easier transition, said Bronner.

    “A lot of people come in who are really struggling in college and are having a hard time making friends, and just having people get to know you and want to be your friend is special,” said Bronner.

    Young Life College also goes on annual camping trips as part of their yearly activity routine. According to Bronner, it is an opportunity to strengthen friendships within the club.

    “We go on a different (spring break trip) each year. The first year I went, it was a trip through Utah and Arizona and the past two year,s we’ve driven out to California,” she said.

   One of the activities the Young Life College members participate in is an open discussion about one another during the trip.

   “Everyone shares their life story on this trip and it’s really scary at first, but it builds a lot of intentional community and makes you feel loved and known despite your past,” said Bronner.

    The club is open to members who do not worship the same faith as well. “We are a Christian organization, but it’s not just a place for Christians. We like to have open and honest discussions about our doubts and things that we wonder about religion,” said Bronner.

    “We have a lot of people come to our group who aren’t really sure how they feel about religion and we like to engage in conversation and look at what the Bible says but also talk about how we feel.”

   Growth is most important with the members of Young Life College, according to Bronner, who said that she has been able to see friendships grow.

    “It’s really rewarding to see how people come and grow into themselves,” said Bronner.

    Young Life College meets every Tuesday at 7:47 p.m. in Breckinridge 5101. For more information on Young Life College, contact Joe Hollmann at [email protected].