Old bookstore spot for future religious center

The space once dedicated to words will now house songs of worship.

Northern Kentucky University’s new Interfaith Center is tentatively set to open in the spring. Renovations to the now empty space on the bottom floor of the University Center, formerly the bookstore, will begin later this semester.

Dean of Students Matt Brown said he recognized that the Baptist Student Union, which is currently the only faith-based building on campus, isn’t meeting the needs of all students.

“This was viewed as a pressing need,” Brown said.

The interfaith council, which comprises religious groups on campus, has discussed the need for such a space for at least five years, he said.

Carmen Myrick, adviser for the African-American Student Affairs Ministries, said the center is just what the groups need to unify on campus.

“It’s a great way to have all the interfaith council students come together,” Myrick said. “I’m really excited about all of us coming together in one place.”

Myrick oversees the Anointed Voices Gospel Choir, God Is For Today’s Students, Anointed Voices Step Souldierz and the Anointed Praise Dance Team.

Other religious groups that would utilize the space include the Campus Crusade, Chi Alpha Ministry, Christian Student Fellowship, Newman Club, Pulse and the Wesley Club. Any other valid religious group will also be able to reserve the space for meetings, worship, events or office work.

The new center will be divided into four sections: a large common room with couches and table that can be converted into a meeting space, a section of offices for campus ministers to meet with students, a small conference room and a non-denominational chapel in the back corner that can be reserved for worship.

Other student groups will also be able to reserve the space, but religious groups will have priority, Brown said.

“We want it to be a swing space in terms for students,” he said.

Brown will be the facilitator between the religious groups and settle any conflicts. He plans to draft a usage policy for the center by the end of September.

“I enjoyed having a chapel on campus as a student,” Brown said of his undergraduate days. “It’s kind of a quiet place you can go and have some private time.”