Q & A with Shannon Green

Shannon GreeneThis week I sat down with Shannon Green, Director of University Ministry, to talk about various aspects of college ministry, as she begins her third year at Dominican.

Q: What do you love about the Dominican University community?

A: I love that it’s a community of learners- faculty, staff, students, and sisters. The community is open and accepting; people want to know who you are. Our students are diverse; they come from a variety of backgrounds and locations, some speak different languages at home, some are first generation college students, and some have different abilities and disabilities. The campus feels like a small town. I love how you see the same people every day- though it took me a while to love this (LAUGHS) because I came from a much larger institution- so much good comes with that...there is a sense of care.

Q: As the director of University Ministry, what does an average day look like?

A: I don't think there are any average days (LAUGHS). I can go from working in the Chapel, keeping the worship space in good order, to interacting with students. Sometimes I meet with students one-on-one or through planned appointments. I meet with Student Leadership And Ministry (SLAM) core areas, Alumnae/i Relations and Student Involvement quite a bit. Sometimes I have to do administration and management which can include working on a grant, balancing a budget, paying a bill. I am also work on programming for University Ministry. I often find it both exhilarating and challenging. It’s very dynamic, I get to move around the campus a lot- I am not stuck behind my desk or computer. Meaningful conversations and prayer-moments are real highlights for me.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of University Ministry?

A: We are a relationship centered university- my relationships here are incredibly enjoyable. We are all in it together for a common mission. Now that I have started my third year at Dominican, those relationships are really blossoming. I enjoy Liturgy, which is a new part of the job for me than in the past. I have a passion for it, but it can be a real challenge for me in good ways (LAUGHS). I enjoy community-building, helping people feel welcome and included. I train students to do outreach. I enjoy being there as people's lives unfold- that's the real privilege of being in ministry.

Q: Where did you receive your master’s degree? Why have you chosen this path?

A: I went to Loyola University in Chicago, Institute of Pastoral Studies. I received a Master’s of Divinity (a comprehensive degree for theology and ministry) there, which I completed in 2000. I took plenty of scripture courses; it’s a three-year, full-time degree. I have a second master’s degree from Loyola in Human Resources Management, while I was working there so I could improve my people-management skills. I chose this path to be fully prepared for the ministry. I have always been drawn to church communities, but I did not know what that would look like for me. I ultimately thought I would work in a parish- a place I find very enriching. I want others to experience that enrichment, healing, and support.

Q: What are you looking forward to this semester? Will you be participating in this year's Caritas et Veritas Symposium?

A: At the Symposium this year, for the first time, I will be presenting with undergrad student Jamie Visser on the culture of hospitality here at Dominican University. I am very excited about this presentation- Jamie is taking the time to focus particularly on that part of ministry this year. I will bring a great passion for hospitality. We look forward to the discussion. I am also excited for our student leadership. There is going to be a lot fruit this year from the work we've been doing from the last couple of years. I am especially excited to see ongoing student ownership of ministry- the Liturgy, the ministry center, just any program. I wish for everyone to feel welcome in the ministry center. Some of the new programs like After Hours and Friday Fiesta Open House will contribute to this sense of warmth and joy.

Caritas et Veritas Symposium, community, Dominican, University Ministry