112 Devotional By Students, For Students
Seasons of Growth
During any season of growth, there comes a time to reap and a time to sow. After the harvest is reaped, time must be spent to cultivate the land and properly prepare the soil in order for a successful harvest to occur once more.
Southeastern University has undergone tremendous growth over the past few years. While our school continues to develop and reach new heights, we also take the time to invest in our students and to cultivate spiritual growth across our campus.
In September, our president Dr. Kent Ingle announced the word of the year to the SEU community, focusing on the importance of developing personally, as well as spiritually. The word? Cultivate.
This emphasis on cultivating a community of discipleship is beautifully reflected in the university’s first-ever student-written and self-published devotional book. The book, “112,” focuses on the Gospel of John and includes a devotional for each of the 112 days in an academic semester.
“This is a part of our discipleship initiative on campus to introduce students to Jesus through the Gospel of John,” said Phil Urdiales, our campus pastor at Southeastern. “We want our students to be able to follow the life and teachings of Jesus in order to be like Him.”
Urdiales had the initial idea for a student-produced devotional book more than a year ago, and within the span of three months, the idea came to completion. Both SEU staff and students worked on the devotional, with 80 students contributing content.
“This devotional creates a unique opportunity to hear the words of Jesus in a very practical and relatable way by walking through His teachings — together,” says Gabriel Gibilisco, a senior digital journalism major who contributed to the book. “It has a very conversational approach that I believe will be incredibly effective, especially for our generation.”
The devotional book will be used throughout the 2017–18 academic year, one devotion per day. A week of devotions encompasses one chapter of the book of John, and all freshman students were given a copy to use in their Discipleship Groups, which are led by student leaders, staff and faculty. “What captured my attention the most during the writing process was getting to share the heart and vision behind it all—to know Christ and to make disciples,” says Gibilisco.
Discipleship Groups will read through the book for 10 weeks in the fall and 11 weeks in the spring. The hope and heart behind the idea is to draw students closer to their Savior, and to cultivate a community that will continue to lean into God and His presence.
For Urdiales, the dream continues as he plans for students to produce three more devotional books on Matthew, Mark and Luke — each to be written in the next three years.
The “112” devotional can be purchased at the Southeastern University bookstore for $10 and is also available for purchase online.
Urdiales is optimistic about the impact of the book. “We pray that this devotional will be a collaborative resource for students everywhere.”