Saray Duran advocates for relational ministry


Alyson Gee

Saray Duran, director of Potter’s Clay

Lexi McWilliams, Features Editor

Opportunities for service and community at Westmont provide students with causes to be passionate about. Saray Durán is a fourth-year student majoring in psychology and minoring in ethnic studies. When Durán first visited Westmont’s campus, she knew it was going to bring a significant impact to her life. Through some of Westmont’s many programs and clubs, Durán was able to lead younger students on their own path towards service and community building. 

Along with her responsibilities as a student, Durán is a co-captain of NSTEP (a Westmont dance club), a volunteer for Immigrant Hope through Urban Initiative, and the director of Potter’s Clay. As a leader of NSTEP, Durán works with students, bringing them together to dance and bring joy to the Westmont community. In working with Immigrant Hope, Durán spends time with immigrants in Santa Barbara who are taking civic classes to prepare for a citizenship test. 

Potter’s Clay is one of Westmont’s ministries that takes Westmont students to Ensenada, Mexico where they work alongside Rancho Agua Viva seminary school students in a number of ways. Durán describes this trip as “a cross-cultural experience, learning to walk humbly in another culture. Also, coming together in partnership with the community in Ensenada while cultivating meaningful relationships.” Members of Potter’s Clay spend time with people in rehab centers, abuelitos, hospitals, health clinics and among children. “We are striving for Potter’s Clay to be a ministry that practices healthy and sustainable ministry,” Durán states. 

Potter’s Clay is on a mission to bring more help than harm, making sure the needs of the people in Ensenada are met. Durán became the director of this ministry in the fall of 2022, but she went on a Potter’s Clay trip the spring of her third year at Westmont. Durán states that this trip “truly changed [her] life.” After Durán came back from the Potter’s Clay week, she knew she wanted to get further involved. She shares, “I want others to know what it feels like to build these relationships and meet these awesome people,” she says.

As Potter’s Clay prepares for their upcoming spring trip, Durán says, “I’d love to see young people be passionate about relational ministry. I hope Potter’s Clay participants are able to show what we mean by relational ministry.”

After she graduates, Durán is hoping to work in a space where relationships are key. Durán has experience working as an intern at Sanctuary Centers around Santa Barbara where she spends quality time with clients in a residential psychiatric facility.

If the work that Potter’s Clay is doing interests you, reach out to Durán by her email:

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