Service Through Faith

Zach Jones is involved with Campus Ministry at Augustana

In our classrooms, in the Chapel of Reconciliation, and through our Outreach Ministry efforts, Augustana nurtures the search for religious faith and works to relate faith and values to learning and service.

Meet Chapel President Zach Jones.

Q. Tell us about yourself: age, hometown, class year, major(s), etc.
I’m a 22-year-old senior from Milford, Iowa. I’m a double major in math and sociology.

Q. Tell us about the different outreach efforts of Campus Ministry and the different ways it serves the student body, the campus community, and those beyond campus.
The Chapel has such a wide array of programs that affect so many different people. [In addition to] worship services in the Chapel, [other outreach initiatives include] the “Bible and Chill” bible study; Better Together, our interfaith group; St. Therese Catholic Ministry, which I help run; and Outreach teams that all work to grow faith and learning here on campus along with service opportunities that reach out to the Sioux Falls community. We help with serving at the Banquet (a food kitchen in downtown Sioux Falls), worshiping at St. Dysmas (the congregation at the South Dakota State Penitentiary), or holding food/clothing drives for those in need. We also have service trips that go across the country to serve and learn with people from many different backgrounds. So in short, there is something for everybody!

Q. Tell us about your role as Chapel President. What are your chief responsibilities?
My main job is pretty simple: I get to help coordinate 12 other students on our staff. They are all absolutely amazing people and extremely dedicated to serving this campus in their respective areas. They make it quite stress-free for me. Other than that, I get to help plan worship services and volunteer opportunities as well as think of new and exciting ways to get God’s word out there.

Q. When did you become involved with Campus Ministry at Augustana?
I started working at the Chapel halfway through fall semester my sophomore year. There was a spot open as the coordinator of the Catholic ministry and, after quite a bit of convincing from a couple friends, I finally applied for the job and got it.

Q. Tell us about the experiences/skills/knowledge you’ve earned through your time as Chapel President.
My time working at the Chapel has opened my eyes and my heart to so many new perspectives of the Gospel. Everyone who walks through the Chapel doors has unique experiences and ideas about who God is and how He works in our lives, and I love hearing their stories. These stories and experiences will definitely be something I take with me as I leave Augie.

My experiences here have also been a time of extreme growth in service and humility. There have been countless times where I have fallen flat on my face only to have those around me support me and strengthen me. Being able to feel God’s love through others motivates me to try and do the same.

Q. How do you think these experiences/skills will translate into your career/professional life?
I hope I continue to grow in the virtues I have learned at Augie, especially working for the Chapel. As a priest your job is to love and to teach. As I continue to decipher where God is calling me, I know that my years at the Chapel have ingrained in me a deep-seated love of service and an overwhelming joy in Christ. These two things can never lead a person in the wrong direction.

Q. What’s next for you after Augustana?
I am currently in the process of applying to a Catholic seminary through the Diocese of Sioux City so, if God continues to call me in that direction, I hope to be a Catholic priest.

Q. Most memorable experience as a member of Campus Ministry, and why?
My most memorable experience was probably walking the first Stations of the Cross around campus my sophomore year. Pastor Paul came to me with an idea in January to see this event, which follows the steps of Jesus on Good Friday, come to fruition and to see the impact it had on the people that came was an amazing blessing. So many people put in a lot of work to make the event a success and I loved being able to share my love of this form of prayer with others.