Spiritual arms open wide on Lynn University’s campus

New Office of Spiritual and Religious Life established; Terence McCorry named director

Published Aug. 15, 2012

As Lynn University approaches its 50th anniversary, the Division of Student Life is strengthening the spiritual commitment of its founders by establishing the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life (SRL), an expansion of its Campus Ministry program. Terence McCorry, past director of Campus Ministry and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Palm Beach, has been named director of Lynn’s new SRL office.

McCorry is not new to Lynn. He has been associated with the university for the past eight years as a resource for Fr. Marty Devereaux and the Catholic Newman Club, during which time he coordinated a mission trip of FAU and Lynn students to New Orleans immediately following hurricane Katrina to gut houses in the lower Ninth Ward, and kept vigil with the Lynn family following the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake.

McCorry looks forward to celebrating the spiritual diversity on campus as well as identifying and meeting the spiritual and religious needs of today’s Lynn University community.

Referring to the quote from the book of Isaiah, he says, “SRL will be a house of prayer for all people. Actually, we will more closely resemble a mobile home of prayer rather than a house: flexible, efficient, on the move, yet welcoming, comfortable and able to plug in to multiple environments.”

McCorry plans to uphold and enhance the traditional practices of the major religions while offering opportunities for inclusion and community building for individual or alternative spiritual beliefs.

“Hopefully we will create a sacred environment where hearts can be comforted, questions embraced and lives celebrated,” he says.

Believing but not Belonging

McCorry sees a major shift with respect to religious identity in the United States and although not as secular as Western Europe, he says America’s religious landscape is becoming as diverse as its cultural roots.

“Most notable for today’s college students and young adults, is the growth in the category sometimes referred to as ‘believing but not belonging.’ Although the majority of Americans believe in God, their regular participation with a religious institution has decreased over the years. Our students are the children of this trend,” says McCorry.

In addition, he says college is a time of exploration and discovery, so if a student has grown up as part of one particular worship community (the minority of students) that student may take a completely different spiritual path at the university.

“The international flavor of Lynn amplifies these trends,” he says.

On campus, McCorry plans to establish a Peer Ministry Team so students can spread SRL’s message.

More on McCorry

Terence McCorry brings 16 years of university ministry and teaching experience to Lynn. He began his service to students on campuses in New York City following his graduation with a master’s degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary in 1996. He came to the seminary after 14 years in the film industry, working on both sides of the camera in Hollywood and New York. Lynn University, which was founded as one of seven Marymount Colleges in America, represents a kind of homecoming for McCorry, as his first director of campus ministry position was at the original Marymount College in Tarrytown N.Y.

In his role as director of campus ministry for the Diocese of Palm Beach, he served as a resource for Catholic Campus Ministries at Lynn, Florida Atlantic University and Palm Beach State College. He was also an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University and taught honors religion and the International Baccalaureate program at Cardinal Newman High School.

He can discuss interfaith issues, the challenges and landscape of spirituality among young adults, religious trends especially in the Catholic Church, origins of religious thought, mysticism, alternative spiritual paths, ritual and performance, and the behind-the-scenes of Hollywood production.