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Local pastor joins Worcester State to lead spiritual life program

September 25, 2023
By: Paul Davey

For many students, college is a time of personal reflection, exploring beliefs and discovering who they are as individuals. Andy Haynes, Worcester State University’s new coordinator of spiritual life, wants to be a part of these conversations with students moving forward.

Haynes joins Worcester State with more than 15 years of experience in ministry, and currently leads The Church on Seven Hills in Worcester. He led a group of college ministries across New England between 2009 and 2019, working with local chaplains and ministers to help establish campus ministry programs.

In his role as coordinator of spiritual life on campus, Haynes hopes to support students in their spiritual, emotional and academic growth. “I think that college in particular is such a significant and strategic time of life,” said Haynes. “To have the opportunity to be part of that environment, I treasure that and always have.”

Haynes’ approach to campus ministry is to offer guidance to those trying to understand the importance of spirituality in their lives. “Everybody has different opinions on the big pictures of life, the big questions of life, ‘Who is God?’ or ‘Is there a God?’ or ‘Does it matter?’” Haynes wants to encourage and strengthen the voice of anyone who is grappling with these questions, providing them with a safe and open place for discussion.

The Office of Spiritual Life provides Worcester State students with resources such as pastoral counseling, religious services and a quiet place to pray and reflect. Located on the second floor of the LRC building, the Spiritual Life Prayer and Meditation Lounge is open to all members of the Worcester State community. Haynes plans on being present in the Spiritual Life room every Wednesday, and is looking forward to using that time to meet more members of the community and offer insight into any questions they may have.

Photos: Worcester State’s new coordinator for spiritual life Andy Haynes meets with members of the university community during a recent open house for the Spiritual Life Prayer and Meditation Lounge. (Photos by Nancy Sheehan)

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