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Christian Union: The Magazine
May 31, 2022

Young Professionals Reflect on CU Gloria, Post-College Life 

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor


On Good Friday, six Harvard College alumni gathered for "Community at the Cross," a panel discussion hosted by Christian Union Gloria.

The Leadership Lecture Series event three days before Easter featured insights and wisdom from students who were active with CU Gloria and Harvard College Faith and Action (the ministry’s former name). They offered perspectives of what post-college life looks like and also encouraged Harvard students to appreciate all of Christian Union’s offerings, including Bible courses, mentoring, and being part of a vibrant Christian community.

The famous Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA is the oldest institution of Higher learning in the USA established in 1636 by the Massachusetts Legislature.

Christian Union Ministry Fellow Tyler Parker, Harvard ’17, moderated the discussion and also offered a short devotional on a painting that portrays the suffering Savior, Mond Crucifixion by Raphael.  

The first question Parker asked the alumni panel was, “How are you reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice today (Good Friday)?”

Emma Klugman ’18 cited examples of God’s judgment in the Old Testament and quoted Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

“Our sin and wretchedness and brokenness separates us from God in a way that makes his judgment the true right and proper response,” she said. “We should be under his judgment. [But] Jesus took all that upon himself… That’s really humbling. It’s important to remember and easy to forget.”

Alluding to the community of people in the painting who were suffering together at the feet of Jesus, Parker asked the panel “if there was any moment during college where God used CU Gloria or HCFA to help you deal with something that was emotionally difficult?”

Calvin Marambo ’19, a native of Tanzania, recalled feeling helpless when a family member back home was seriously ill. Marambo admitted that he was usually the one who was there for everyone else in his Bible course, and, at first, did not ask for help or prayer.

“But I got to a point where I could not do that. I could not just keep on bearing that on my own,” he said.

Marambo, who majored in bioengineering, found grace and comfort when he met with Don Weiss, Christian Union’s ministry director at Harvard, and also felt the love and support of the guys in his Bible course.

“My friends in my Bible course prayed and it was miraculous because the family member that was sick started getting better. My community was there for me…I was reminded that, as Christians, we are called to love very much—to a point where that might mean suffering for the people that we love.”

RELATED: Want to go deeper in your faith? Click here to receive a free download of Christian Union’s "Seeking God Lifestyle” Bible Course Manual. 

Another question given to alumni focused on their experience in finding a church home after college.

Jayden Bryden ’21 said being plugged into a community of believers has made a huge difference for her and her husband.

“Life is way more fun,” she said. “It’s very difficult to be an adult and not have a Christian community. Getting plugged in—that’s the key.”

Abby Joseph ’21 talked about the process of finding a church as a professional and how the experience she had at HCFA helped her know what to look for.

“HCFA was a Christian community that supported me, that helped me grow in my knowledge of God and of the scripture and [helped me] understand what it means to be a Christian of practice,” she said.

As Joseph looked for a new church home, her CU Gloria experience “was a helpful guiding framework in terms of asking, ‘Is this a place where I see myself  growing, where I see that same level of vulnerability and community?’ ”

Joseph also told the current students how she was pleasantly surprised to find a praying Christian community among colleagues at the research lab where she works.

“It’s been truly wonderful,” she said.

Christian Espinosa-Schatz ’15, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale who studied environmental science and public policy at Harvard, spoke about the challenge of being a Christian in his field.

“God called me to this academic path to work with justice issues, and, specifically, to not do it in Christian setting. I think the very fact that I am Christian is a little bit of an enigma [to some co-workers]. Most of the time, people are, like, ‘I don’t get it.’ It’s an ongoing process for me of how to engage that well. It requires waiting on the Holy Spirit.”

In regards to  Christ’s suffering, Harvard Law student Isabel Espinosa-Schatz ’18, Christian’s wife, noted how she appreciates the willingness of Jesus to take upon himself our sins and burdens as she works with clients who are going through asylum proceedings.

Isabel also spoke about how being part of CU Gloria’s Bible courses and community helped prepare her to study the Word and seek God post-college.

“One of the things that surprised me after college was [realizing] that the Bible courses were really good. That's something that will stay with you forever.”

“After I left college, I realized that a lot of people don't know how to read the Bible... I am so glad I had ministry fellows devoted to teaching me how to read the Bible because it's not super intuitive all the time. It's confusing, and sometimes it's contradictory or it looks like it is. And some people walk away from a faith because they don't know how to read the Bible on their own.”

Isabel told the students to embrace their Bible courses, and “hold on to that right now.”

Bryden also noted the impact of Christian Union Bible courses and ministry fellows, specifically Rene Ghobrial.

“Ministry Director Don Weiss and the ministry fellows—they are awesome,” she said. “They're the greatest asset that God has given you—high-quality mentors. Their job is to be here for you. That's amazing.”

“Don't miss out on building a relationship with them and building a relationship with the people sitting next to you in your Bible courses.”

Christ and community. At CU Gloria’s Good Friday Leadership Lecture, alumni and current students were thankful for both.   

To learn more about Christian Union's ministry at some of the nation's most influential universities, please click here.