Pilgrimage: El Camino de Santiago

Fri., March 8-Sat., March 16, 2019

The Program
Pilgrimage: El Camino is a spring break walking pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) in Northern Spain, the most famous pilgrimage in the Western World. Pilgrims walk from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, averaging 12 to 15 miles per day, staying in comfortable accommodations in small villages each night. The program involves a spring semester half-unit course that introduces students to the religious, cultural, and aesthetic landscape of the region and helps students cultivate their own spiritual practices and reflective imaginations. The hope is that each pilgrim emerges from the experience with a deeper spiritual life and a greater sense of purpose and place in the world.

The program is open to full-time, continuing undergraduate students. The pilgrimage draws on the rich Catholic spirituality that has shaped the route for many centuries as a means of introducing students to profound spiritual questions around meaning, purpose, prayer, and well-being. Each student is expected to offer an open and generous heart to the experience and to their teammates. The pilgrimage is physically and spiritually challenging, and students who participate commit to cultivating their physical and spiritual health in preparation for the 65-mile hike.

Applicants selected for the pilgrimage team are required to enroll and participate in a half-unit course that meets weekly during the spring semester. The course is a means to explore the various religious, historical and cultural contexts of the Camino and to build friendships with the team.

The Chaplaincy covers the majority of the costs. Participants are responsible for passport and visa fees and meals while traveling.

The pilgrimage was co-led by Craig Kocher, university chaplain, and Bryn Bagby Taylor, associate university chaplain.