Each year, Briar Cliff University identifies a common value to motivate the initiatives set for students, faculty, and staff. The Catholic Franciscan values that motivate the university are centered on Building a Caring Community, Peacemaking, Reverencing Creation, and Connecting with Joyful Service. This year’s value is Joyful Service.
“Catholic Franciscan values are the foundation of everything we do and believe here at Briar Cliff University,” shares Sr. Pat Doody, Vice President of Mission and Leadership. “Our goal is that every academic program and activity is centered on these values, as they express our Catholic Franciscan mission. Connecting with Joyful Service is a special value to the university, and it is instilled in so much that we do and teach.”
All undergraduate Briar Cliff University students are required to do 80 hours of service before graduation. These opportunities are often embedded in the curriculum or within activities across campus. For students who go beyond this requirement, an opportunity to obtain a service honor cord at commencement is offered.
“Service allows us to put our faith in action. This is where we truly see the transformation of not only academic excellence – but also making a difference. Where our students become ethical world changers,” shares Doody. “This value will inspire our teaching, our activities, and our service throughout this year. Our goal is for our community to embody all of our values – positively impacting others, especially the underserved and disadvantaged.”
Students are invited to grow in service and faith through ongoing opportunities, supported by Campus Ministry. Weekly newsletters direct students to volunteer opportunities within the community. Over 10,000 of hours are volunteered each year by BCU Chargers in the Siouxland community. Volunteering to serve others helps students expand their knowledge and understanding with a greater sense of how sharing their gifts can improve the lives of others.
“Service can be defined in many varying actions,” shares Jason Salisbury, Director of Campus Ministry. “While we encourage and share opportunities to get involved in supporting various needs in our community, we also consider prayer as service. Faculty brought this to our attention as a way to serve, and it has encouraged me to think differently. We have embedded prayer as a way to serve others, and we have incorporated prayer in all that we do. So many times, we hear how prayer has helped make an impact on others.”
Campus Ministry was recently relocated to a larger space to allow for more prayer, reflection, and activities at the University, made possible by supporters of the University.
Fr. Travis Crotty and Fr. Francis Makwinja, who have been assigned by Bishop Nickless, will begin to preside at Masses and to hear Confessions at Briar Cliff University. Briar Cliff University continues to welcome the Siouxland community to Mass every Sunday at 7 PM.