Student Life has created a new Wellness Program to help students develop a healthy rhythm by balancing their physical, spiritual and academic wellbeing.
The program focuses on creating healthy routines for students such as participating in the Sabbath and other activities that will help build balanced lives and, ultimately, a stronger connection with God. Completion of the program is worth five chapel credits.
Students involved in the Wellness Program must create a daily routine that includes an exercise schedule, nutrition plan and self-care goals. Students’ wellness plan should include their personal goals as well as set aside specific times for Sabbath activities.
Although part of the focus is on physical exercise and health, the program is intended to go deeper and enrich spiritual lives as well.
Senior urban ministry major Ashton Dupler believes the physical and spiritual beings go hand in hand.
“If we can’t take care of our bodies, how are we practicing the faith?” Dupler said.
Dupler suggested that if Christians aren’t properly taking care of their health, they can’t serve the way God desires them to. He believes addressing pressures and stress will have a positive result on spiritual life.
“Working constantly without acknowledging our limits” often diminishes the ability to serve, he said. “It is important that we do not run ourselves ragged,” Dupler said.
Dupler works out regularly but is not signed up for the Wellness Program this semester.
Senior nursing major Drew Englund said the program is working for him.
“It keeps me accountable and constantly evaluating how much time I’m spending in the Word,” Englund said.
MVNU theology professor Joseph Augello believes this program shows how God meant for the physical and spiritual being to connect.
“God said if you are a Christian, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit,” Augello said. “So, shouldn’t we be regarding our bodies in a very sacred way because we are housing God?”
Augello believes that Student Life is helping students honor God, and see themselves the way God does.
The program requires students to work out at least three times a week, with a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise, which could include anything from walking and yoga to lifting weights and biking.
Students also are required to attend one of two Wellness Workshops presented each semester. The workshops give students resources and examples of activities to participate in to ensure they are successful in the program.
Students are required to participate in Sabbath activities five times a semester, with each activity being a minimum of four hours on one day. The purpose of Sabbath activities is to create time to experience and worship God. Activities can include turning off social media, journaling, praying or meeting with a mentor.
This aspect of the program allows students to acknowledge their limits, keep company with Jesus and trust that God is in control of all things, according to the official Wellness Program description approved by Student Life.
Students must then turn in five reports throughout the semester that show their progress.
Reports are due every two weeks. After the reports are completed, participants will have five chapel credits added to their chapel report for the semester.
The Wellness Program has 50 participants for the first semester.