The role of the Department of Chaplaincy is:
To provide Ecumenical Pastoral Services through ministering to the spiritual needs of the Midlands State University Community (Management and Administration, Faculty Staff, Non-teaching Staff, Students, and Families in accordance with the policies of the University Council, Vision and Strategic Plan of the University).
To be a God fearing Community in all our undertakings, that fosters the spiritual dimension of life that celebrates the diversity of God’s gifts within the University.
The mission of the Department of Chaplaincy is to support the vocation of the Midlands State University academic vision as enshrined in the strategic plan of 2019 to 2023 and also incorporated in the University prayer.
To provide a ministry of creative religious presence to the spiritual, moral and material needs of the University Community and the society through the provision of Pastoral Care and Counselling.
The Department of Ecumenical Chaplaincy seeks to encourage, instills a spirit of self-worthiness, self- confidence among the students and staff guided by the values of:
- Hard work
- Passion for Excellence
- Respect for Others
- Gender Equality and Equity
- African Culture
To provide a Ministry of presence to the staff, students and families.
To focus on the promotion and coordination of spiritual and religious life activities. Chaplaincy is more than moral care; it is a wholesome caring of persons in need. It is a compassionate ministry to all.
To conduct and participate in University Community Church Services and special Ceremonies such as Graduation, burial and memorial services of students and staff.
To lead, coordinate, develops and empower the Chaplaincy team (student leaders of Campus Christian Association and Honorary Chaplains/Ministers from Churches), to ensure they have the motivation and skills to deliver the mission and ethos of the Chaplaincy Service.
To support the academic mission of the University by facilitating and encouraging initiatives concerned with the moral, ethical and spiritual dimensions of the University.
To assist individual staff and students experiencing personal, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of life for example, acute chronic illness or grief.
Being Public Relations Officer to churches and religious organizations on behalf of the University and the wider society.
To visit ill members of the University community in hospitals and homes.
Student Challenges prior to coming to University for the first time and/or during their course of study for four (4) to five (5) years.
- Psychological trauma
- Loss of parent or both parents.
- Delayed or suppressed grief
- Loss of parents’ property to relatives after death.
- Children dispatched and/or shared among relatives after parents’ death.
- Very little or no counselling at all to children.
- Lack of love to orphaned children to the extent that some have nowhere to go during vacation or holidays.
- Lack of or inadequate tuition fees, clothes or food at home or University. Some students in child headed families also take care of their siblings whom they fend for food and school fees etc.
- Lack of spiritual, moral, psycho-social and economic support.
- Lack of Laptop Computers/Smart phones and bundles.
The solutions are to address the above challenges: e.g. by means of:
Sourcing for funding to assist disadvantaged, vulnerable students from poor backgrounds to pay for tuition fees and other related financial needs.
To provide spiritual, psycho-social counselling, moral and economic support.
To administer the Student Funeral Fund through the University Student Funding Committee and several Scholarships sponsored by University Partners.
To Conduct training on leadership and behavior positive change towards the creation of better Midlands State University student culture. Unhu or Ubuntu was and continues to be highly cherished and treasured by society as it defines a person’s worth. The whole aim is to graduate an all rounded student (spiritual, physical, moral and intellectual being).
To work with students’ Christian groups in providing opportunity for personal and community enrichment/engagement, reaching out to encourage rural secondary/high school youths to pursue their education or skills for living. Carrying out evangelistic crusades outreach. Creating an atmosphere of religious tolerance and co-operation by encouraging understanding of cultural and religious diversity through interaction and discussions with both national and international students.
To manage and provide the general oversight on the use of the Chapel and its programmes through a University Chapel Management Committee and student sub-committees.
To certify staff and students’ documents.
MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF CHAPLAINCY COVID-19 INTERVENTION STRATEGIES.
Covid-19 or Corona virus Pandemic has come as a global blow to everyone. Nowhere in the history of human kind have we seen everything coming to a standstill. Church Services cancelled leaving people with no fellowship, no place to cry and plead with God or Higher Power as per people’s belief systems determine. No one going to work and/or to socialize. Sources of livelihood depleted.
Challenges during the Covid -19 pandemic era.
Covid-19 has brought about psycho-social, spiritual and economic/financial challenges to University stakeholders (students, parents/guardians and sponsoring organizations). Fears about health, finances, safety continue to negatively impact mental health of our students resulting in, panic, anxiety, hopelessness on social life and future goals. At some point, people’s faiths have been shaken asking where God is in the midst of the storm.
The spirituality and socio-economic life in both Government and Private Institutions of Higher learning is a cause for concern for the Chaplaincy. Students look for tangible help not the “Pie in the sky gospel” or “Ambulance ministry” where God is viewed as the God of emergency only.
Abraham Maslow, an American Psychologist, discusses about a theory of human needs. He talks of five basic types which form the hierarchy of needs. These are Physiological needs (eg food, water warmth, rest), safety needs (security and safety), belonging and love needs (intimate relationship and friends), Esteem needs (prestige and feeling of accomplishment) and Self-actualization needs (achieving one’s full potential including creative activities)
The Department of Chaplaincy continues to respond to prayer request from students, staff and families during this difficult period of lock-down.
The Department has remained in constant touch with the Principal Officers, the Acting Executive Dean of Students updating her about deaths of students and staff and the initiatives to console the families through phone calls and Audio recordings.
The Senior Chaplain has remained in constant touch with Chairpersons of Campus Christian Associations at their homes. Many students and parents continue to phone in about their financial plights not sure whether their children will commence studies at University or come back to complete their studies.
In light of the continued lock-down and fight against covid-19, and despite the rising figures of new infections, as the Department of Chaplaincy, we are proposing the following intervention strategies:
- To establish an E-Chaplaincy Platform within the University Student E-Learning to communicate with students on line.
- As mentioned above, Chaplaincy will continue to provide psycho-social, spiritual and economic support (tuition fees, accommodation fees and food) where possible to deal with stress and pressures that are being faced by students, staff and families. We will be available for those who want to vent their pain and anger through phone calls and on line E-Chaplaincy.
- Chaplaincy remains a virtual centre for prayer and pastoral care and counselling.
- Chaplaincy will remain a referral centre for all health issues that need technical and professional advice, through our MSU Medical Personnel, MSU Covid–19 Task Force Committee and Social Media Platforms etc.
- The Department will continue to provide Pastoral Care & Counselling sessions on line and on WhatsApp and phoning where needed and if necessary.
- To continue mobilizing financial resources where possible.
- To encourage students to remain in contact and connected with their churches and faith groups for spiritual nourishment where ever they are.
- To encourage the students and families to connect with Health Institutions closer to their homes in case they are contacts of COVD19.
- To continue to send audio sermons and prayers, devotional materials on E-Chaplaincy Platform to both staff and students whenever is needed and necessary.
- The Chaplain can be reached on 0773 286 250 and 0712 346 509. Both numbers are on WhatsApp.