College is a time of self-exploration and self-expression. As part of the exploration, individuals are often figuring out their identity in terms of who they are, what they stand for and what they believe.
- For many new students, it is their first time away from home and their religious community.
- For some, this transition may lead them to question their faith and they may experience confusion and isolation.
- For others, this may be a time of relying on their faith for support and strength and building a faith community away from family.
Whatever your faith, spiritual affiliation or type of journey, the UMass Lowell Counseling Services is a place where you can explore identity development in a way that incorporates your beliefs and where your perspective will be respected and honored. Issues of religion and spirituality often overlap with the bigger questions in life such as meaning, purpose and how to deal with loss. Although we do not provide spiritual or religious-based counseling, we are dedicated to learning how your beliefs affect your worldview and experience and we will strive to collaboratively incorporate these important aspects of your perspective into your psychological treatment and counseling experience.
Although spirituality and religious affiliation often increase well-being and life satisfaction, students who identify with minoritized religions may find that their affiliation serves as a barrier to feeling connected at UMass Lowell. You may also experience discrimination and misunderstanding. UMLCS is here to support you and all students who feel like their identity or affiliations have in some way contributed to being less connected to the broader UMass Lowell community. Some students have felt harmed, rejected or otherwise had negative experiences with faith communities. These topics are also all welcome for discussion and exploration as part of the counseling process.
UMass Lowell students come from and embrace a variety of religious, spiritual and faith traditions. Others identify as agnostic or atheist. Whatever the background and identity, UMLCS welcomes discussion of religion, spirituality and faith as it pertains to students' coping, struggles, life experiences and world views. All counseling is free and confidential.
Resources for Religious Diversity
- UMass Lowell Serenity Center: Located on the third floor of University Crossing, the Serenity Center is a quiet place to sit and reflect. Campus ministers from a variety of faiths also hold services for within the Center.
- UMass Lowell Spirituality Resources: This webpage provides information on campus ministries, student organizations and religious studies.
- UMass Lowell Office of Multicultural Affairs: A welcoming landing place for students of various backgrounds and identities to get person support, advocacy and learn about multicultural resources and programs on campus.
Content adapted with permission from University of Kentucky Counseling Center.