Religious Diversity

A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.

For the past three years, I have been the diversity. Seventy-five percent of the students around me share in the Roman Catholic faith, while I am a devout Presbyterian. However, attending a Catholic school has not diverted me from my Presbyterian upbringing; rather, it has allowed me not only to act in but to contribute to an atmosphere in which I am an outsider.

Undoubtedly, many glaring differences exist between the Catholic and Presbyterian Churches – the Mass, Confession, and the idea of Purgatory to name a few – but spending my formative high school years in both cultures has encouraged me to integrate my beliefs with the principles of Jesuit high school. The best example of this occurs before my home baseball games or practices. Between the academic quadrant and the baseball field stands a statue of Mary, whom the Catholic Church references much more frequently and reverently than does the Presbyterian community. Nevertheless, prior to each visit to the field, I spend four or five minutes at the statue, thinking of any concerns or blessings I may have carried with me through the day and close with the recitation of a simple, yet holistic prayer: “Dear Lord, help me to play safe, play smart, and play for You.” Although...

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