Despite being the largest Catholic Institution in the nation, DePaul University’s identity goes far beyond its Catholic roots. Extending itself to welcome religious diversity, the university incorporates teachings to establish an environment among its community to better understand and become familiarized with religious beliefs, faiths, spiritualities and identities outside of the Catholic domain.
“DePaul is open to serving students of all religious backgrounds,” said Katie Brick, Director of Religious Diversity at DePaul University. “It doesn’t want to reject its own identity. Rather, it chooses to build off of it.”
In comparison to some private institutions driven by religious affiliation, DePaul University seeks to provide its students and community with a widespread pastoral accompaniment, support, and advocacy to reflect not only its devout beliefs and mission, but highlight and accept diverse religious and spiritual value as well.
“I am not catholic in any way,” said Nefeli Supinger, a junior at DePaul University. “I’m Greek Orthodox and honestly, never once have felt DePaul has pushed Catholicism on me. While we are required to take a religious domain, the university offers a focus in so many different faiths ranging from Islamic beliefs, ...
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... more about Vincentian values and community service than anything. And that can be seen in courses offered, but more importantly in the campus’ involvement with the community service and social justice.”
Being in an urban setting, students are able to explore, interact, and fully understand what defines another religious practice, what makes it special and how it influences others within the community.
Some students are challenging the core values of Catholicism in attempts to define them and their roles within their individual missions to spark change in communities.
“I think there is some confusion about what Catholic means at DePaul,” said Covarrubias. “In its roots, Catholicism means that you believe in Jesus Christ and his resurrection, but Catholicism is also this greater thing that speaks on morality, service and community, especially here on DePaul’s campus.”
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