Living a well rounded life
Holistic wellness prioritized for students
Though many college students often think of only physical implications of the idea of living a healthy life, administrators at Liberty University are promoting a more holistic approach to the idea of wellness through a new Living Well @ Liberty initiative.
According to Dean of Students Robert Mullen, the initiative recently began as a collaboration between academic officials and student affairs administrators. Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Ron Hawkins and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Mark Hine led the charge for the partnership between the two areas of Liberty, according to Mullen, resulting in Living Well @ Liberty.
The new program is a comprehensive approach to wellness in terms of spiritual, emotional and physical health.
“Our natural human tendency is to get our emphasis in these areas out of balance,” Mullen said. “But health in all three areas is absolutely essential to overall wellness. … To the extent a student is struggling in any one of these areas, that student is not maximizing their potential. We want to do all we can to see students growing in each of these realms.”
According to Mullen, while it may be obvious that spiritual health is an important area of focus on Christian campuses like Liberty, emotional and physical health should not be neglected.
“(T)he Bible also addresses the realm of mental health — emotions and feelings — in a very clear way,” Mullen said. “God designed us to experience love, joy, peace and the rest of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22. And God cares about our physical wellness. Our bodies are ‘the temple of the Holy Spirit.’ 1 Corinthians 6:19. As such we have a responsibility to care for the body and to present it as a sacrificial offering to God. Romans 12:1.”
The first goal of Living Well @ Liberty is to raise awareness for the need to pay attention to all three areas of health, according to Mullen. The second goal of the initiative is to highlight resources available on campus, such as the Campus Pastors Office and Student Counseling Services, to help students to grow in these areas.
In addition to Mullen, Hawkins and Hine, the Living Well @ Liberty campaign includes a number of other experts on spiritual, emotional and physical health from the university who will help come up with methods for assisting students in these areas. Living Well @ Liberty will also utilize the Champion to publish information about upcoming events or resources available to students.
In the future, leaders of the initiative hope to join forces with leaders of Live Healthy Liberty, an already established “collaborative campus-wide effort spearheaded by Campus Recreation,” according to the LaHaye Student Union Web page. Mullen believes the combined expertise from such a partnership will help the University reach its goal of a healthy community.
For more information on the initiative, contact Mullen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check future issues of the Champion in print around Liberty’s campus and online at liberty.edu/champion.
Brown is the editor-in-chief.