Blessings for Your Students

Prayers for Interfaith Communities in Higher Education

Janet Fuller

Jun/2024, 216 Pages, Paperback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9781640656673



An essential interfaith resource for university chaplains and spiritual leaders in higher education.

In an increasingly heterogenous age, any university chaplains and spiritual leaders struggle to center their student communities, aware of vast diversities in their needs – the prayers of one tradition are rarely sufficient to honor the many paths their students may be travelling. With this heartfelt collection of interfaith prayers, Janet Fuller leverages the fruits of 40 years of chaplaincy to bridge this gap, offering sample prayers and spiritual direction for use across all communities of learning, from the first day of school to the bittersweet crossroads of graduation. Chaplains will find support for all the essential student struggles, including new beginnings, athletics, loneliness, and the search for hope.

For use in part or whole, or as templates for other prayers, these blessings provide a voice for academic communities as they gather to give thanks, remember, and look to the future, all using language that commends itself to many spiritual paths or none at all. The prayers can also be adapted for chaplain use in hospitals, prisons, continuous care retirement communities, military gatherings, and many others. In a time when many exhibit a disinclination to hear with ears or hearts, Blessings for Your Students invites readers to listen closely to the power of prayer.

Janet Fuller is a nationally recognized model for interfaith engagement, who has served three academic communities as chaplain for 40 years. She was the University Chaplain and Dean of Multifaith Engagement at Elon University for a decade, during which she instituted an annual student-led interfaith conference to empower students from multiple institutions to share their diverse traditions and worldviews. She has twice served as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, and presided over its merger with the Association of Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education. Born in Lebanon to missionary parents, Fuller has spent her life bringing religious, spiritual, and secular communities into conversation with one another. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia.

As an organization committed to advancing the field of higher education chaplaincy and supporting chaplains, we are thrilled an additional resource of interfaith blessings and prayers exists. This book encapsulates Janet Fuller's decades of higher education chaplaincy, her dedication to interfaith work, and her deep love for students. This inclusive, passionate, and sacred book will be a useful tool for countless chaplains.—Board of Directors, Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education (ACSLHE)Jan’s prayers are truly exceptional. This book gives college and university leaders and chaplains an extraordinary resource. When you are trying to find the right words for important campus celebrations or devastating community losses, this is an invaluable resource, as well as inspiration for your own spiritual centering.—Nancy Oliver Gray, president emerita, Hollins UniversityJan Fuller brings her exquisite craft, her deep wisdom and her wide-ranging interfaith experience together in this book of prayers. May this beautiful text help spiritual life become an essential part of the college experience for the whole campus.—Eboo Patel, founder and president, Interfaith AmericaThe gift of Dr. Jan Fuller’s words to inspire other Chaplains and those called on to provide blessings on campus will be a wonderful resource. Blessings is a powerful teaching tool for all those who find themselves at the microphone with a desire to be inclusive and share the impactful presence of love in our work on college campuses.—Dr Connie Book, President of Elon UniversityA beautiful meditation on the power of naming and the opportunity to reflect deeply, across all axes of differences, on college and university campuses today.—Wendy Cadge, professor of sociology, Brandeis University and author of Spiritual Care: The Everyday Work of Chaplains


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