What is the Vision of the UP Chaplaincy?
First, the UP Chaplaincy facilitates the building of a Wisdom Community. The sense of community is “an undergraduate experience that helps students go beyond their own private interest, learn about the world around them, develop a sense of civic and social responsibility, and discover how they as individuals, can contribute to the larger society of which they are a part.” A wisdom community cultivates wisdom learned through conversation, in friendship, in small communities, from and with wisdom figures such as teachers and ministers. Wisdom is an interpersonal endeavor. Wisdom is more than knowledge and skill; it includes values and a grasp of one’s own ultimate meaning. Meaning is where religious tradition becomes relevant to the university’s search for wisdom.
Second, the UP Chaplaincy hopes to contribute constructively to culture. In the dialogue between faith and wisdom, faith makes a contribution to culture and to leadership. UP forms future leaders of the Philippines.
Culture tends to overlook the depth dimension of human life and the realm of ultimate meanings. The chaplain and the campus minister can be an instrument for helping an individual to see the relationship between one’s faith commitment and the need to make the culture more human and more Christian. In an increasingly secularized society, campus ministers can alert the culture to its religious roots and help individuals achieve personal integration.
The UP Chaplaincy thus considers several factors for its effective ministry. UP Diliman’s campus is metropolitan and public. The university has ten student residences or dormitories. The students in UP can be classified as residents who live in university-owned housing, and commuters who live outside of the university premises. A commuter is any student who does not live in campus-owned housing.
Each type of student has specific needs. In UP, residents have roommate problems, privacy and financial needs, and specially the freshmen, they struggle with adjustment. Many of them suffer from homesickness. The commuters of UP have mobility problems. Travel presents a stress source. They need a support system in a huge university. They lack independence; they suffer from parental pressure for grades; they have domestic duties; and their parents may not be able to understand the UP environment. For example, many students stay longer in UP than the usual 4-5 year term. In addition, the commuter needs to have sense of belonging, that they find a home in the university. Thus friendships and organizations are important to them.
To minister to UP students, these factors are considered. And thus, the program for the Chaplaincy and the qualifications of Chaplain and the Campus Ministers should be built around these profiles.