On the small campus of Bluffton University, where religion is one of the leading factors, each residence hall has three to four ministry assistants, depending on the number of floors that are in each residence hall. Ministry assistants listen to other students’ struggles, give advice, spread the wisdom of God to fellow classmates and hall mates and are simply “there” for any student who needs them.
On Bren-Dell’s third floor is Jayden Groppi, one of the three MAs in that hall. Groppi is a junior majoring in business administration with a human resources concentration. He also plans to minor in youth ministry.
“Being an MA is challenging, yet exciting, since so many people on campus hold you to a different standard than when you aren’t an MA,” Groppi said.
Although Groppi has only been an MA for a month now, he has found the whole experience rewarding, exciting and challenging. He enjoys the encounters he has with many of the freshmen on his floor, along with the rest of the residents in Bren-Dell.
“At least two or three times a day, I will have helpful conversations with the freshmen–answering their questions, concerns and problems,” said Groppi. “I’m able to listen to them, provide feedback, give them wisdom and offer them any advice that I can think of.”
Along with helping out the many freshmen on the third floor of Bren-Dell, Groppi enjoys interacting with the other students on campus. He likes helping people with their problems and said he will do his absolute best to give the most helpful answer needed in any situation.
“People look to you for advice and guidance, even if sometimes you don’t know the answer yourself,” Groppi said. “It’s also very exciting because I get to interact with a lot of beautiful faces, and I am able to get the opportunity to speak the Word of God and spread His wisdom into people’s lives.”
Along with many other students on campus, Groppi is a devout Christian and is not shy about sharing his faith with everyone he meets.
“I got baptized in the spring of my freshmen year, and ever since then, I’ve been looking for more ways to help the community of Bluffton, as well as everyone,” Groppi said “I want to be able to help everyone I know (and others I don’t know) by growing them in their faith and love for God.”
Groppi was encouraged to apply for this job by the campus pastor, Tig Intagliata, and his MA from last year, Bailey Hartle. Groppi stated he has already had an indescribable experience as an MA.
“All the other MAs and pastoral assistants went on a ministry retreat a few days before we were actually settled in on campus,” said Groppi. “It was a great time of self-reflection and listening to everyone else’s testimonies. I was encouraged to strengthen my faith, and the entire experience made me want to be a better Christian.”
While this memory is Groppi’s favorite so far, he knows many more memories and experiences are await him throughout the time he has left at Bluffton.
“Even though it is sometimes challenging,” said Groppi, “seeing people grow in their faith is the greatest accomplishment I have achieved in my time at Bluffton so far.”