The Multi-Faith Centre at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Richmond, British Columbia nurtures the spiritual lives of a bustling student body richly textured in diversity.
The ministry, a Christian Reformed Home Missions partner led by chaplain Sam Lee, is stitching strands of faith and truth onto the campus canvas. Its parent ministry is Tapestry CRC, which was planted eight years ago, also in Richmond.
In September 2011, Lee began the Multi-Faith Centre to provide pastoral care for students, discipleship for believers, and outreach to non-Christians.
“We want to bring faith on campus,” said Lee. “To deny the life of faith in a post-secondary university wouldn’t be right. We ask, ‘How can we affirm the life of faith here?’”
At first, the Multi-Faith Centre’s presence was confined to two or three days a week, and the ministry shared crowded office space with other university staff.
“On the days we weren’t there, students came in to see us, and the university began to see that there was lots of traffic coming our way,” Lee said.
“Now Kwantlen is investing in us. The blueprint for school renovations has dedicated office space and prayer space for the Multi-Faith Centre.”
Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, exploratory Bible studies, and an open invitation to pray are just a few ways Lee and fellow Chaplain Al Wu are drawing students hungry for understanding and grace.
“There’s a growing Muslim population on campus, and they pray all over the place—in the hallways and wherever they are,” said Lee.
“This was causing some disruptions, and I reached out to the Muslims and said they could have our space to pray. On a personal conviction level, this was a way to love my neighbor.”
This act of compassion has not gone unnoticed. A Muslim student told Lee how deeply he appreciates the Centre’s open-door policy. “He said, ‘When I go to mosque, nobody talks to me, but when I come here you talk to me with respect and listen to me. I really appreciate that.’”