An Anchored Life

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
—Hebrews 6:19

Hope College: a name itself founded in faith, illuminating the hope we have in Jesus. Faith is an evident and encouraging part of life on campus, from weekly services, to Campus Ministries, to student-led Bible studies. The beautiful part about faith on campus is that nothing is stifling or obligatory, but an open invitation for students to either explore or grow their faith. Whether you’re a new believer, a long-time believer, or just looking at possibilities, the conversations you encounter are filled with respect and curiosity. Students at Hope enjoy meeting new people and learning their stories. You’ll probably be asked, “Let’s grab coffee!” at least once a week. Head on over to (the best) coffee shop and you’ll hear discussions like so. Spend 5 minutes in LJ’s and the murmuring buzz will erode into conversations, and you’ll begin to pick out the subjects. “I’ve seen the Lord working in my life this week…” “I’m really struggling, but I trust the Lord…” “Let’s pray over your time there…”

A morning at LJ’s

If you want to grow in your faith, there are numerous ways to get involved. Campus Ministries empowers students to lead Bible studies. You can audition to be on chapel band, or if you’re more tech inclined, you can run sound. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30—10:52, a service is held in our beautiful, castle-esque, Dimnent Chapel. There are no classes during this time, and it’s always so packed that the chapel walls are lined with students and professors. On Sunday nights, the Gathering, our on-campus church service, is held. This is at night so that students can get involved with a church in the community. If you stay an another twenty minutes, you can take part in after-worship, a powerful, energetic, extra time of praise.

Dimnent at Christmas

There are three cottages on campus that are sponsored by Campus Ministries: Pancake House, Waffle House, and Mouw Cottage. The first two houses hold events every month or so filled with pancakes, waffles, fun music, dancing, and good conversation. They are a Hope College staple. Mouw Cottage houses Delight Ministries, a ministry focused on encouraging women in their faith and reminding them the “delight” that the Lord takes in them. To live in one of these houses is an honor, as you are taking on a leadership role on campus.

These are just a few of the ways faith is prevalent on campus, and there are many more pockets of individuals gathering to worship the Lord or encourage and walk alongside each other.

Spring Semester at Hope

Hope is a school filled with both goofy and revered traditions (which is part of the reason I was so excited to become a student here!) Many of the big, competitive traditions take place in the fall, such as The Pull or the Nykerk Cup, but there are many more events that happen every year in the winter and spring. The first snow marks the beginning of many traditions. Students scramble into the Pine Grove for a peer organized snowball fight. The Durfee boys gather and carol to Dykstra and Gilmore… in their boxers. They are always freezing cold, but have to keep that tradition alive!

In February, SAC, or the Student Activities Committee, holds Winter Fantasia at a beautiful location in downtown Grand Rapids. This is a chance to pull out your heels or tie and spruce up for night of dancing. From hors d’euvres to photo booths to elegant fountains and chandeliers, this is a chance to get whisked away from studies for a night.

Dance Marathon takes place in March and is a major part of life on campus. This fundraiser for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital holds events to raise money beginning in the fall semester, but the big event is the 24 hour extravaganza of dancing and fun mixed with the stories recounting the reality of some of these kid’s lives and reminding participants why they’re on their feet for 24 hours. There are countless ways to get involved: you can be a part of the “Dream Team” that plans the event, be a moraler for the dancers, or be on a team and dance for 24 hours.

Enjoying the sun at Spring Fling.

Spring Fling is the big end of the year hurrah. Planned by SAC, students join together in the Pine Grove one last time. There are bouncy house obstacle courses, mechanical bull riding, a zip-line, good food, and more.

This team put two shopping carts together.

Another event that takes place during Spring Fling is The Push: a shopping cart race around the Pine Grove. Teams of around 5 take turns pushing members in the shopping cart, then switch every lap. It’s a fun element added into this end of the year event.