Xavier continues its growth as a multicultural and multi-faith community with the hiring of an ecumenical and multi-faith minister for the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice. Andrea Bardelmeier will serve on the center’s faith and ministry team.
Originally from Holland, Mich., Bardelmeier focuses on non-Catholic ministries, specifically expressions of Christianity and Ecumenism. She provides resources and support for the faith development of students of other world religions and non-theistic belief systems, helping to connect them to a spiritual home in Cincinnati.
The intention for her ministry is to accommodate existing religious diversity on campus, while helping to cultivate an atmosphere of true plurality, tolerance and inter-religious understanding. Xavier attracts students from more than 15 faith traditions, including Buddhism, Judaism, Muslim, Hinduism and Shintoism. Religious pluralism is a reality at Xavier, and the Center for Faith and Justice, in line with the Ignatian value of cura personalis (care of the whole person), is committed to helping all students deepen their spiritual lives.
Bardelmeir graduated from Grand Valley State University with a degree in political science in 2004 and worked as a community organizer in Grand Rapids for three years. She completed a Master of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary in 2010, learning to integrate her faith with her passion for social action. Raised in the Episcopal Church, she had a transformative spiritual experience at age 15 which prompted her to wander through evangelical, reform, agnostic and emergent church settings until finding her way back to the Episcopal Church during seminary.