Quick Contact

The Center for Spiritual Life
Wireman Chapel at Eckerd College

Doug McMahon, Jr.
Director of the Center for Spiritual Life and Chaplain

Libby Shannon '05
Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Life and Chaplain

Father John Gerth
Catholic Campus Ministries

Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, Campus Rabbi
Executive Director Suncoast Hillel
Office: 813-899-2788
Office Fax: 813-899-2919

Center for Spiritual Life

Center for Spiritual Life

Welcome to the Center

Burchenal Lecture Series

Reading Biblical Rape Texts Within Contemporary American Title IX Debates
Monday, September 28, 7:30 p.m. | Fox Hall
The Bible contains numerous accounts of sexual violence. How shall we deal with these rape texts in light of the enduring influence of the Bible in American culture? Especially now, within a climate of concern over violence against women often referenced in contemporary Title IX discussions, we have to ask whether such debates should inform reading strategies of the Bible.

Gideon's Army: Talk by Film Director Dawn Porter
Thursday, October 8, 7:30 p.m. | Fox Hall
This startling documentary follows the personal stories of three young public defenders as they challenge the assumption that our criminal justice system represents “justice for all.” Nominated for an Outstanding Informational Programming EMMY, The New York Times called it “a bare film with no narrator and a minimal soundtrack” that will “grab you by the throat."

Rewriting the Ending: The Corrected Apocalypse
Thursday, October 15, 7:30 p.m. | Fox Hall
It is no doubt curious that the one book of the New Testament issuing a curse against those who would tamper with its text is itself riddled with scores of changes, corrections, and qualifications throughout. The Book of Revelation's manuscript tradition bears witness to this correcting activity with near impunity. And yet, far from simply invading the text, the textual changes reflect on of the ways individuals make sense out of obscure religious texts.

In God We Trust? The Politicization of Religion in American Politics
Tuesday, November 3, 7:00 p.m. | Fox Hall
America has been described as the most religious country among the industrialized Western democracies, and as G.K. Chesterton famously suggested, America is "a nation with the soul of a church." Even so, something happened in the second half of the 20th century that has transformed American politics, challenging the principles of a separation of "church and state," beyond even Chesterton's understandings. In the 21st century religion and religious speech have become politicized.

Event details and complete series schedule

The mission of the Center for Spiritual Life is to challenge the mind, nurture the spirit and develop the talents of all those who utilize the services of the Center.

Goals of the Center for Spiritual Life Include:

  1. To bring together students, staff and faculty to foster a continuing and challenging campus conversation about spiritual issues.
  2. To provide a forum for public education and discussion focused on the role of religion and spiritual life in the contemporary world.
  3. To offer through the Campus Ministries program means of enriching the spiritual lives and understanding of our students.

The Center for Spiritual Life comprises three divisions: The Office of the Director, Campus Ministries, and the Colloquy Program.

  • The Office of the Director administers the Burchenal lecture series, public events for available to larger Tampa Bay community; introduces new initiatives that meet the changing spiritual needs of the entire Eckerd community; and seeks to connect the college with off-campus entities, including local religious organizations.
  • Campus Ministries program coordinates all on-campus religious life services and programming. A student-driven and student-responsive program, Campus Ministries seeks to develop and enhance the spiritual lives of students within the context of Eckerd College's vision of educating the whole person.
  • The Colloquy Program invites full-time faculty to engage on a regular basis other members of the community in discussion around contemporary issues of faith and religion.

The Center is advised by an active Spiritual Life Council with members representing the Eckerd College Board of Trustees, the Presbyterian Church, USA, and other Christian and non-Christian religious traditions.

Mission and Work

Eckerd College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church, USA and is a member of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.

The mission and work of the Center are enriched and informed by the Reformed Tradition, while remaining ecumenical and inclusive in focus as the Center seeks to meet the spiritual needs of our diverse academic community.