Discussion today, with guests from our University Ministry and Service (UMAS) staff, centered on our Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) study of UMAS. We covered today parts 1-4 (mission, program, leadership, organization and management) and, to some extent, part 9 (equity and access). Further review of the materials will be conducted by Dr. Cicala and the UMAS staff in the coming weeks and months; committee members may be called upon for participation in discussions and the committee will be briefed at an early fall meeting, as well.
Among the elements that arose in today’s discussion were general agreements that students who participate in UMAS programs and activities, particularly those who serve in student liturgical ministry and in community service groups, are reaping multiple rewards of growth and learning through involvement; that UMAS’s mission is complementary to those of the University and the Division of Student Affairs; and that UMAS’s human, physical, and fiscal resources are being well-managed and well-used.
Some of the concerns that have emerged from our study and discussion center on the challenges presented by the spread of UMAS over two locations (De La Salle Chapel/College Hall and Benilde Hall) and differences between and among committee members and UMAS staff members with regard to the perceived degrees to which UMAS, in its campus ministry functions, does, can, and/or should serve the spiritual development and sustenance needs of Catholic students and students of or seeking other faiths. It was agreed that clarifications of UMAS’s relative degrees of responsibility along that continuum are essential to planning for UMAS’s future.