Rev. Treena Meyers, M.Div., leads a SoulQuest gathering at APU’s San Diego Regional Campus.
Rev. Treena Meyers, M.Div., leads a SoulQuest gathering at APU’s San Diego Regional Campus.

SoulQuest: Spiritual Development for Graduate and Professional Students

by Tobin Perry

During graduate school, you’re not just preparing for a job. You’re training for a calling. The vast majority of students today—four out of five, according to a 2019 Gallup report—say they’re looking for a career with a purpose.

That means your graduate and professional studies aren’t just about academic development. They’re about spiritual development, too!

You’re a whole person; someone God designed to grow academically, socially, and spiritually. Your spiritual development shouldn’t need to take a backseat while you’re concentrating on your studies. In fact, this period could become an opportunity for accelerated growth as you prepare for God’s call on your life.

That’s the plan behind the SoulQuest program at Azusa Pacific University.

A Place for Graduate and Professional Students to Grow

APU established the SoulQuest program to serve the diverse (and unique) spiritual needs of graduate and professional students. The resource aims to help them as they fit their career goals into God’s larger plan—and into their lives.

While APU provides spiritual formation opportunities for all of its students, the school recognizes that graduate and professional students have different needs and are often at different stages of life than their undergraduate peers. SoulQuest addresses this.

“SoulQuest conveys the importance APU places upon the life of every student, and our understanding that the journey toward growth and wholeness is a quest that integrates intellectual and spiritual dimensions in the transformation of the soul,” said Rev. Rick Givens, M.Div., director of graduate and professional spiritual life at APU.

The program has three goals:

  1. To make available to every student a personal point of encounter with Jesus Christ and His call to them.
  2. To provide intentional times and resources that allow students to engage in considering their spiritual journey in an integrated way with their vocational growth.
  3. To convey with clarity the Christ-centered nature of the university’s commitment to education from a Christian perspective, with particular concern for transformation of the soul.

How SoulQuest Helps Students Embrace Their Calling

The SoulQuest program provides multiple opportunities for the school to partner with students in their spiritual development. Here are a few options available to APU students.

At these gatherings, students, staff, and faculty come together for light refreshments, a devotional, and prayer time before returning to class. These are unique to each regional campus, school, or program and are based on the individual programs and class schedules.

Pastoral Care
SoulQuest pastors are invited into graduate and professional classes to provide devotional and prayer time as well as discussion on spiritual formation. They’re also available for pastoral counseling and to help facilitate small group discipleship and prayer groups on APU’s campuses.

“One of the key elements for the regional campuses is having the SoulQuest pastors living and working nearby the campus, which allows them to be available when emergencies arise,” Givens said. “The pastors are a part of the journey for our graduate and professional students, from new student orientations to hooding ceremonies and everything in between.”

Weekly Devotional
Every APU student receives a weekly email devotional where they’ll also have an opportunity to send in prayer requests. The SoulQuest pastors work to immediately respond to those prayer requests and provide needed support.

Additionally, the SoulQuest team is currently working toward launching an evening worship service for graduate and professional students enrolled at APU.

Curious to learn more about SoulQuest and the impact it has on Azusa Pacific University’s campuses? Explore the APU website for more information about SoulQuest and the spiritual development resources available to students.