Evan Reichelt co-ordinates the chaplaincy program at the University of Southern Queensland and has seen first hand the positive impact chaplaincy has had on the students and staff.
“One person was considering committing suicide, but after talking to a chaplain, she decided not to,” said Evan.
A university chaplain’s role is wide and varied, ranging from counselling to pastoral care, or just being available for coffee and to talk.
“It’s a ministry of presence,” said Evan. “Looking for opportunities. And God will tell you where to go sometimes. It’s caring for the students.”
Evan has had many people approach him, wanting to know more about Christianity.
“One lady came to me because her husband had become a Christian and she wanted to understand it more.”
But it’s not only Christian chaplains at USQ. As a multi-faith environment, Evan also oversees chaplains from other religions.
“That’s the environment we work in, so we have to be open to people of all faiths. We can’t push our belief onto anyone else.”
There is currently a need for more chaplains at USQ, particularly at the Ipswich and Springfield campuses.
“We already have Buddhist and Muslim chaplains, and a Baha’i guy is interested in becoming a chaplain too, and it looks like he will get a position. But we also need to get new Christian chaplains,” said Evan.
“We want to have a Christian chaplain for everyday in each campus, so I would love to hear from anyone interested in this important ministry.”