Skip Sub Menu

Office of Spiritual Life

At Drake we understand wellness to have at least six facets: intellectual, social, emotional, physical, occupational, and spiritual. The specific path that each student takes in each of these areas is a matter of deep, personal choice.  

Spiritual practice is an important part of life for many Drake students. There are several faith-based student organizations on campus, and the Des Moines area is host to a wide variety of faith communities. This broad spectrum of beliefs and practices creates a vibrant culture that adds to the sense of campus diversity.

Spirituality at Drake: the what, where, and why.

The Office of Spiritual Life serves as a resource for students as they engage on their spiritual journey while at Drake. The Office of Spiritual Life promotes meaningful exploration through:

  • Engaging students, faculty, and staff in areas of interfaith dialogue and spiritual development
  • Providing a space for discussions dealing with complex ethical dilemmas and issues
  • Connecting members of the Drake Community to spiritual organizations on campus and in the greater Des Moines community
  • Serving as a resource in times of grief, upheaval, and difficulty
  • Hosting and promoting events and programs that facilitate personal growth as well as community development

We seek to promote meaningful exploration of spirituality while enhancing the Drake Community. Spiritual Life promotes meaningful dialogues, intentional programming, and community collaboration with the aspiration of not only promoting self-development, but the development of the community.

More Information:

For more information on Spiritual Life at Drake, contact Lynne Cornelius at

Wednesday Drop In Meditation Sessions

Often our days become so busy that we become overwhelmed, stressed and forget to take time for ourselves. After a while, this pace becomes unsustainable and takes a toll on our mental, emotional and physical health. Disrupt your stress cycle and step away from your week to practice 30 minutes of mindful meditation on Wednesdays from 12:15 – 12:45 p.m. in Olmsted 310 beginning on February 9. Take a short break in your schedule to reset and recharge. No prior experience necessary. If you can breathe, you can meditate.  

Group Spiritual Direction Opportunity

Spiritual Direction is not counseling, and it is not coaching, and it is also not necessarily religious. Rather, spiritual direction is a safe place to explore meaning and purpose and other issues that have a spiritual component, such as commitment and calling. In group spiritual direction, a small group of people meet once per month to support each other’s spiritual growth. Dr. Catherine Gillespie, who is the Associate Dean of the School of Education, and a Spiritual Director, will be present at all the meetings to act as a facilitator. There will also be an introductory meeting on Monday, February 21 from 1-2:30 so that each group member can know what to expect. This group is limited to 6 students. Each student will have one opportunity to be the presenter. Those who are interested should sign up at: Information about Catherine’s Spiritual Director services can be found at:

*Schedule TBD*

Individual Spiritual Direction Sessions

Spiritual Direction involves meeting with a spiritual director (also called a spiritual companion), usually for one hour once per month, to explore your own spiritual life. Dr. Catherine Gillespie, who is the Associate Dean of the School of Education, and a Spiritual Director offers individual spiritual direction sessions to students. These sessions include asking questions to help students explore the spiritual aspects of your life. These sessions can be made via STARFISH by looking for Catherine Gillespie and make an appointment.

Religions of Des Moines Resource

Religions of Des Moines is an informational booklet aimed at connecting students at Drake University with other religious communities in the region. The book is a product of Dr. Timothy Knepper’s S20 course and this 2020-2021 Interfaith Fellows. Although it includes over 150 communities, it is a work in progress. 

Yoga and Other Fitness Offerings

Drake University’s Recreation Department is offering a dynamic offering this semester. From Yoga to Meditation, Zumba to Pilates, engaging your body in physical activities allows for a healthy mind. See below the offering and register at:

University Calendar 
University News