It’s been one week since I returned from an inspiring visit to Neumann University, home of the Neumann Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development. YES, they have an entire institute dedicated to the spirituality and character development of their student-athletes…how awesome is that!??! And how perfect a place for me to visit, as my story is at its most powerful when shared through the lens of my sport and spirituality.

I was invited to Neumann to receive an award given by the Institute. I don’t really do well with awards; I am so blessed and feel so fortunate to have the life I do, that it’s often hard for me to accept an award for doing work I feel called to do. So when they asked if I would be willing to meet with students throughout the afternoon and address the student-athletes that evening, I was thrilled to say yes. And as excited as I was for my visit, it did not disappoint.

The Institute itself is a leader in the area of sport and spirituality. It is a tribute to Neumann’s leadership that they value the integration of sport and faith so much, that they did not hesitate to take action to (and put resources towards) building this Institute. From research to sport chaplains, to programming for student-athletes to explore their faith through sport, the Neumann Institute for Sport, Spirituality and Character Development is a remarkable resource for all who celebrate the ideals of the Institute.

On a more personal level, I was amazed at the openness of the students and student-athletes. There is a true spirit that is very tangible throughout the University, where students are free to explore their spirituality, challenge their beliefs and grow in their faith. As the amazing Director of the Institute shared with me about the student-athletes, “We are here to take their faith, whatever it is and wherever they are with it, and help them move it forward.” What amazing work they are doing, and what a privilege to be a small part of their journey.

Thank you Neumann University!