There are an abundance of Sabbath School options for students to choose from at Southern, and with an ever-increasing enrollment there is a growing potential for relationships as well. How do these two elements come together? Until this school year, they didn’t. That’s when Yolanda Abril-Oscai, a supervisor at one of the campus eateries, had a realization.
“I listened to a lot of students at my job and I learned that many students want to date, but don’t necessarily know how to go about it without getting hurt in the end,” Abril-Oscai said. “I want students to understand that they need to know themselves before they date and that they also need to understand the necessity of a relationship with God.”
In response to that need, Abril-Oscai started the Boundaries in Dating Sabbath School class. More than 20 students meet every Sabbath morning at 9:30 a.m. in Thatcher South residence hall and use Henry Cloud and John Townsend’s book Boundaries in Dating as a guide for small group study and discussion.
Joseph Cartwright, a sophomore film production major, is a regular at the class.
“The talks within each group are really dynamic,” Cartwright said. “You get to hear both gender's point of view on a certain topic.”
In addition to a Sabbath School class geared toward helping Southern students in their dating lives, there are also other relational resources on campus. Mates-In-Ministry is a group designed to support students who are currently married to theology majors and will be the husbands or wives future pastors. The group is also open to fiancés of theology majors, or those who are seriously dating a theology major.
Mates-In-Ministry has four functions each year, including breakfasts, Bible studies, and mission reports. Mary King, wife of Greg King, dean of the School of Religion, leads the group.
“The goal is to encourage and equip these students so that they will feel supported and confident as they embark together in ministry,” she said.