Bible studies help students learn and explore


Photo: Huiling Wu/Iowa State Daily

Misty Prater, center, leads a group meeting to discuss the Catholic views of dating and relationships at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Alayna Flor

Many students on campus participate in Bible studies to help explore and strengthen their religious beliefs and to meet with others who share those beliefs.

“By being in a Bible study, I am challenged on what I believe in,” said Jessica Stevens, sophomore in pre-graphic design. “When I face those challenges, I grow closer to God and my relationship with Him grows stronger.”

Stevens is one of many ISU students involved in a Bible study group. She is involved in a group aimed at sophomores through Campus Crusade for Christ.

“From morals, lifestyle choices, relationships to stress — at some point we will have covered every concept important to life,” Stevens said.

Iowa State has many campus clubs and organizations that host Bible studies, and many establishments in Ames play host to meetings as well.

“We hold group sessions about the different books of the Bible and also talk about the messages from Sunday’s mass,” said Misty Prater, campus minister at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Catholic Student Center. “We also have groups that discuss the theology of the body, the five love languages and relationships. We talk about topics that can’t always be discussed in the classroom and with friends.”

Cornerstone Church lets students meet based on where they live. It offers groups for students living in dorms, and also those involved with the greek community.

“We break off into topics that surround our everyday life, such as school, sorority activities and balancing all of it,” said Amanda Jilek, senior in apparel merchandising and design. “Sometimes when you read the Bible, it’s not always easy to break down what it means to you at that moment. To have a friend and a support system to help talk it out is essential.”

Aside from sharing ideas and beliefs about religion, a Bible study is a way for students to get to know others and address questions or concerns they have.

“It is so easy to get lost on such a big campus and with everything going on day to day. Bible studies help give a sense of community, hear other peoples’ point of view and challenge previous beliefs,” Prater said.

Firm believer or not, many of these Bible studies are open to anyone and everyone. Although they are mainly based on the Christian faith, these groups are outlets to ask questions and learn about others.

“It helps me to prepare my best for things but to not sweat the small stuff,” Jilek said. “Reading and studying the Bible helps me to keep grounded and know that God’s plan is bigger than anything I can imagine for myself.”