Views 65 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 11 - 22 - 2016 | By: Abby White
Dorms provide a place for afternoon naps, the DC provides a quick bite to eat, and the library provides a quiet place to do homework. However, there are far too few places on campus that provide a place of solitude—a place where you can be alone with the intention of spending quiet time with God. There is one spot that was created for just that.
Welcome to the Dallas Willard Center. You may never have heard of it, or are wondering how such a wonderfully, isolated place could exist. If you cross the bridge that used to lead to lower campus, there lies a refuge for the introverts, the spiritually hungry, and those who want to be quiet with God. Furnished with plush couches, one can walk in, grab a hot cup of tea, and sit in the comfort of a real home—yes a real home.
Mariah Velasquez, a Westmont graduate, is the program coordinator for the Dallas Willard Center and shares a few things about it.
“The purpose is to encourage people in their friendship with God and their relationships with other people,” Mariah says. “Through ‘At the Table’ meals, it creates space for faculty and staff to discuss with students, wrestle with the harder things, and walk through it with them. The center also provides a place for students to be quiet and listen for God.”
During the week, students are invited to come to the house and can bring their Bible, journal, or art supplies. There are also “At the Table Dinners” which feature faculty and staff. These dinners center around topics that differ weekly and foster deep and thoughtful conversations led by faculty. This provides a chance to get to know faculty in a place outside the classroom, and to be able to share stories and gain insight in a unique way. It is also a great opportunity if you want a home-cooked meal, which means a break from the DC.
“Students have so much going on in their lives. We all have a longing to meet with God. When we get a taste of God, we want more of Him. When students choose to do that, they start walking forward,” comments Mariah.
Dallas Willard was a great philosopher whose four ideas of spiritual formation became the foundation of the center and helped create this space for students. The center offers retreats a few times a year, which include a few hours to work on spiritual formation exercises, have quiet time, and enjoy a chance to eat and converse with fellow students. This center also facilitates getting connected with a spiritual director, which enable students to be guided in their relationship with God one-on-one.
If you need a few moments far from the maddening crowd, keep an eye out for weekly emails, informing students of what events or open hours are available!