Alex Chambers ′07
As a first-year Rhodes student I took the required introductory Life courses in the Religious Studies department. They challenged the way I understood religion and spirituality. It was in the Chaplain’s Office that I found a safe place to struggle with my questions from the classroom in the context of my faith.
Through the Chaplain’s office staff, I first learned about the concept of servant leadership in the context of Christianity, and I became involved with a servant leadership class taught at a federal corrections facility. Four years later, I continue to look forward to being in close community with my friends—both inside and outside the prison—each week. The experience has been spiritually fulfilling.
It has also changed my theology. I have become deeply interested in restorative justice, an approach to justice that views crime as a violation of people and relationships and aims to repair the resulting breach in a way that allows both victims and offenders to experience healing. My experience in the prison has changed my understanding of sin and redemption as well.
My introduction to the idea of servant leadership through the Chaplain’s office has helped me to evolve the way in which I think about service to others. While I once thought of it as meeting physical needs, I now see it as a way to also remove barriers and develop authentic relationships.
My engagement with faith communities both at Rhodes and in Memphis has moved me forward in discovering my vocation.