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This Week’s Sacred Space: Values Day, A Lived Experience

By Rev. Willie Barnes
Stetson University Chaplain


Under the leadership of Stetson’s eighth president, H. Douglas Lee, the tradition of Values Day was established to honor, reflect, share, act and foster dialogue around Stetson’s core values: personal growth, intellectual development and global citizenship. Values Day, which takes place every September, will occur tomorrow with a full day of activities including conversations, community gardening, a global citizenship fair, hurricane donation drive and workshops.

Celebrating the core values of Stetson University will be the focus of Sacred Space tonight, Sept. 25, at 7:15 in Lee Chapel. This weekly gathering, hosted by the chaplains, gives members of our community an opportunity to pause, reflect and connect with what one considers sacred. Regardless of one’s faith tradition, these core values represent the highest ideals of Stetson University and bind us together as one community. These values can serve as important connections to what many may deem sacred and will be further explored in this space.

Often times institutional values are philosophical and not pragmatic. Instead of guiding institutional decisions and development, they take up space on paper and fail to be lived out by the members of that institution. That is not the case with our university as evidenced by its commitment to Values Day on a yearly basis.

I want to encourage the members of our community, students, faculty, staff, alumni and other key stakeholders to live out the core values of Stetson University on a daily basis on campus, off campus and in the many communities Stetson occupies. There are a myriad of ways one can commit to these values. Jot down a few and make it a priority to reflect the Stetson brand beyond clothing but rather in your everyday lived experience. Additionally, allow these core values to serve as the foundation for your own personal values.

Each week, we do a call to action. This week, we’re asking that you capture and share your Values Day experience through pictures, videos or reflections on social media using the hashtag #HatterSacredSpace. Feel free to share your experiences beyond Values Day. For more information, visit the Values Day page. We look forward to seeing you tonight in Sacred Space.


The three chaplains stand in front of the Carlton Union Building

Stetson’s three Chaplains are, left to right, Rev. Willie Barnes, Jr., an African Methodist Episcopal pastor; Rev. Christy Correll-Hughes, an ordained Baptist minister; and Sensei Morris Sekiyo Sullivan, spiritual head of Volusia Buddhist Fellowship.



– Stetson University’s three Chaplains share an interfaith message during Sacred Space, a weekly gathering on Mondays at 7:15 p.m. in Lee Chapel inside Elizabeth Hall. They also write this column for Stetson Today that ties into the theme of this week’s gathering. For more information, contact the Office of the Chaplains at stetsonchaplain@stetson.edu or 386-822-7523.