Fourth Year Reflection: Erin Turley
How did you first get connected to the Center for Christian Study? Describe your time at the Study Center over the past four years.
I first started coming to the Study Center to work on schoolwork and to see friends and after my second year I started attending the summer fellowship that was studying The Chronicles of Narnia. After my third year, I went to Stud Beach Week where I met the wonderful Lane Cowin and this past summer I reconnected with the summer fellowship and started being mentored by Lane. Over the past year I have been blessed through spending time with Lane, joining an undergraduate women’s bible study, having a space to process during Rush Hospitality, and attending some really great lectures on relevant cultural and vocational topics.
Looking back as a fourth year getting ready to leave the University, what has the Study Center meant to your time at UVA? How has it made a positive impact on your walk with Christ and your experience at the University?
The Study Center is a place where I am challenged to grow in my understanding of God and His work in the world. Through seminars, conversations with staff, and Bible study, I have learned to think through the implications of my faith and what it means to live that daily. I have been encouraged to see the challenging aspects of life at the University and engage them through the lens of faith in Christ. The Study Center is a place where I have found community, mentorship and support.
How has the gospel changed you during college and how has the Study Center played a part in that?
Through mentorship with Lane and being connected to counseling through the Study Center, I have learned more about what God’s grace means through difficult situations and tough decisions. I always want to be able to know ahead of time what the effects of my actions might be, and that can be overwhelming and impossible. I have been reminded of the truth that as I make poor decisions along the way, I am still a daughter of the living God! That makes life a whole lot more hopeful.
What is special about the Study Center that you want to communicate from your perspective as a fourth year?
The Study Center has such a unique ability to engage with students at UVA and the Study Center makes clear moves to do that well. This spring I had the opportunity to be a Pi Chi (Panhellenic Counselor) during Sorority Recruitment. The Study Center served as a warming house to first year women going through Rush. It was such a blessing to see how well the Study Center loved these first year women by providing food and warmth. This was noticeable to all. More importantly, the Study Center acted as a place where these women could be themselves. This was a specific storyline to sorority recruitment, but I believe this common storyline is what makes the Study Center so special. It is a space where students can be themselves and are encouraged to do so. It is a place where staff wants to know them and love them, a place where they can ask questions and be encouraged to seek the Lord.
Anything else you would like to add?
I am so blessed by my unique story and the way the Study Center has shaped my life at UVA, but I would encourage everyone to get involved sooner than I did! Join a small group, get to know staff, go to a lecture. I have been so blessed by the resources that the Study Center has to form me and support me as a student.
Erin Turley, CLAS ’14