The mission of Providence Christian College is not only to ground students in knowledge, but to provide opportunities for them to take their knowledge and engage the world around them. As students learn that God can be glorified in many ways, Providence’s Club program offers a wide range of opportunities for these students to find areas they may not normally think of and explore how their faith relates to new experiences, using that knowledge to make a difference in their community.
For a small college, Providence has a large amount of clubs. These include Evangelism, Students for Life, Ballroom Dance Club, Sign Club, Art Club, and Tennis among others. The reason for the large number of clubs is that any student can start a club if they take the initiative to find interested fellow students, and submit a club constitution for approval. Because of the student-led nature of the program, some clubs are more active than others, but each has something to offer the community. Junior Justin Bond, member of the Evangelism Club, finds the size of the college to be positive, “Because of the size people are able to be involved and make a difference. There is plenty of room to make ideas and visions come to life through creating a club and also impact the college/local community.”
One of the largest and most active clubs is the Ballroom Dance Club, led by Junior Libby Barnard, who started the club in her freshman year. “I participated in ballroom dancing all through high school… we had so much fun,” she reflected, “When I mentioned the idea at Providence it seemed like something people were interested in, so I went for it.” Last semester the club consisted largely of on campus instruction by Barnard herself, and a trip to a local Contra Dance, which was a huge hit with the members. Freshman Danielle Dirksen raved, “It was such an awesome activity to be introduced to… I never even knew things like Saturday night contra-dances even existed.” She liked that it was good exercise, affordable, and more social than using the same money on a movie. This semester the club intends to spend much of its time attending more local Swing and Contra Dances in the community.
Another club which is involved in the local community is the Students for Life Club which invited all of the students on campus to hold a candlelight vigil with them at Planned Parenthood a few weeks ago. Club leader Shara Guengerich said the vigil was “not only to remember the children who have been legally killed through abortion for the past 39 years, but to also to give a taste of what our club does to the rest of the student body.” Guengrich started this club after years of pro-life activism before college and has been encouraged by the response on campus. She aims to give students a taste of how they can be involved in the fight during college so they can effectively continue to defend the right to life in whatever capacity for the rest of their lives.
The clubs program also builds a closer community on campus, and has a strong social aspect. According to senior Jana Crum, “Clubs are a great way for students to gather around a shared interest. It has encouraged students to develop their unique gifts and passions.” Clubs add character to the institution and make Providence a vibrant place. For instance, the Sign Club occasionally signs during singing in chapel, and the Art Club sometimes provides art to add to open mic nights, Family Weekend or the Variety Show. Tennis Club is also a great way to spend time exercising with friends.
Not only are clubs a constructive way to use spare time and build friendships, they are a way of experiencing more of God’s world and giving back to the community. Though it may be a young and small institution, Providence offers many opportunities for students to be nurtured, challenged and involved through the Clubs Program.