Spiritual Mentors Break Stereotypes

By: Adam Myer

On Quincy University’s campus there are multiple groups that give back to students and the surrounding community. Even though the campus is populated with a higher percentage of student athletes, groups and organizations try to split up the teams from only hanging out with themselves. One of these groups that is helping the Quincy University student body is the Spiritual Mentor group.

This group on campus consists of 12 student leaders, Genesis Torrens who is the coordinator of the program, and Brendan McCruden advisor for the Spiritual Mentor program.

“I started this program three years ago because I was a missionary and I wanted to leave this place better than I found it and I didn’t see a lot of faith experience and leadership happening in ministry. So I wanted to give people an opportunity for that, so I and father John kind of developed this program and it has been growing in the past three years and has done a lot to bring more hope and joy to people on campus,” Torrens said.

But not many students understand what this group does and what the members represent.

“It’s a program (spiritual mentors) that is under campus ministry but if you think about it they are missionaries on campus. They are also Christian leaders that want to rise up in their own Christian formation but they want to help form faith experiences to campus so their peers can grow also,” Torrens said. 

There has been new leadership throughout the past three years of this group and after former Director of Ministry Ray Heilmann retired.

“Genesis actually called me probably early may last year when she knew Ray would be retiring and asked me if I would consider being the advisor for the group, and I have worked with her in other leadership capacities in my graduate assistant position, so I was fully on board right away,” McCrudden said.

Being a success coach and now a lacrosse coach McCruden understands what being a leader means on campus.

“Also being a Franciscan school I thought it would be a perfect opportunity in an advising role and a really big purpose being fulfilled from that group so it was a no brainer for me,” McCrudden said.

As the advisor for the spiritual mentors, McCruden believes the impact this group has on campus is larger than it has been before. 

“I think that this group in particular has a great set of skills and will be able to impact campus not necessarily in a broad sense, I mean they do events, and programing and stuff like that. But from Genesis, who created the group, to some of the returners and they have some outstanding leadership from members of the group and I don’t think they realize that they are leaders yet,” McCrudden said.

One of the members, Blake Sprecher, is new to the group but joined because of his core values.

“I joined the spiritual mentorship program so I could assist people in the Quincy university community in the growing of their faith lives through a group of spiritual leaders. I also wanted to focus on the growth of my own faith while helping others in the community,” Sprecher said.

The spiritual mentors on campus are leaders from all different walks of life, some are student athletes, and some are involved with other communities and groups on campus. One thing that brings these students together is their ability to lead not only each other but their peers as well.

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