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What are the big questions students are grappling with during their college years? “Belovedness: Finding God and Self on Campus,” a new publication released in June by Church Publishing and edited by James Franklin and Becky Zartman, is a thought-provoking book specifically written with college students in mind. The book addresses issues of faith, identity, sex, success, failure and everything in between, through the concept of belovedness.
Barton College’s chaplain and director of campus ministries, the Rev. David Finnegan-Hosey, is a featured writer in the book. Along with the author-editors, Finnegan-Hosey is one of eight campus ministers from across several denominations who contributed to this volume to help students navigate questions of life and faith in the world of high-pressure college campuses. The book is described as “Telling it like it is with wit and wisdom drawn from Scripture, tradition, and life experience, (offering) profound and practical reminders of what it is to be beloved.”
Finnegan-Hosey devotes his chapter to mental health and faith, a topic he has also tackled in two previous published works, “Christ on the Psych Ward” and “Grace is a Pre-Existing Condition: Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare.”
The publisher on the book’s website offers questions for the reader’s consideration, noting that while every student’s story is different, they have the same questions in common. “Who am I?” “How do I make good choices?” “What does it mean to be successful?” “How do I navigate changing relationships with my family, my peers, my significant other?” “And how do I do all of this faithfully while in college?” All of these issues are approached in the book through these fundamental questions, “What if I really, truly believed that I was beloved beyond all measure? How would that influence who I become and what I do?”
Finnegan-Hosey says, “My campus ministry colleagues and I often find ourselves asking students, in a variety of different situations, what decision they would make if they truly believed, at a deep soul level, that they were loved and cared for by God. I am grateful to have this resource to share with students, to encourage their reflection on their own belovedness and to provide a guide to thinking through the implications of belovedness for all the challenges and opportunities students really encounter in college. It was a blessing for me to be able to offer my own perspective on the particular topic of mental health and faith on campus. If you know and love a college student, share this book with them, and read it yourself!”
“Belovedness: Finding God and Self on Campus” is available from Church Publishing, Inc., for $16.95. Additional details about the book can be found at https://www.churchpublishing.org/belovedness.