LACEY, Wash. – The Office of Campus Ministry at Saint Martin’s University has been awarded a grant from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities and Catholic Relief Services Global Solidarity Grant Program to help strengthen and expand its CRS Student Ambassador Program, which supports the work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the global relief arm of the Catholic Church.
The $3,000 grant will enable Campus Ministry to plan and carry out its new Justice in Action Leadership Formation Project, says Angela Carlin, M.Div., director of Campus Ministry, who will have oversight of the project. Planning for the project will begin this spring, and the project will begin during the 2017-18 academic year.
Carlin says the grant will enable the number of CRS Student Ambassadors to increase from the current two to six, and will pay for a formation retreat at the start of the academic year.
Carlin said she is excited about the possibilities the grant provides. “It’s not just that we received money to do more on campus, but that we received money for leadership formation. We won’t be just offering programs, but will also be empowering students to take the lead in sharing the beauty of our Catholic tradition and how it relates to social justice.”
Saint Martin’s two current ambassadors implement a variety of campus projects to build social justice awareness and action among fellow students. They have been able to attend a conference and a regional training session to learn how to do advocacy work. They also organize students to participate in activities like CRS Rice Bowl during Lent. Rice Bowl is a program that combines prayer, fasting and fund-raising for those in poverty worldwide.
Through next year’s leadership formation project orientation and training, student ambassadors will learn how to plan, execute and assess CRS programming aimed at increasing education, advocacy and action surrounding Catholic Social Teaching in the area of social justice, Carlin says. With the extra leadership positions, increased programming can broaden its impact among students. Carlin says her goal is to make the program sustainable, as well as transformative and significant for students participating in program offerings.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,243 undergraduate students and 277 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campus at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.
For additional information:
Angela B. Carlin
Director, Campus Ministry
Interim Media Relations Manager