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‘Hand in Hand’ supports students in unplanned pregnancies

For more than 30 years, Campus Ministry has supported students in unplanned pregnancies — offering them emotional support, connecting them with social services in the community, assisting them with academic accommodations and more.

The Hand in Hand program works confidentially to meet the unique needs of each student to help them reach their educational goals during pregnancy and beyond.

“The early stage of a pregnancy, especially, can be a challenging and confusing but also joyful time,” said Crystal Sullivan, executive director of campus ministry. “Birthing a child is a sacred gift and we want to accompany students through their journey.”

Campus Ministry works with many campus partners, including the University of Dayton women’s center, counseling and health centers, as well as outside organizations, to help ensure students have access to quality medical care and transportation to prenatal appointments; academic and housing accommodation they might need; emotional and financial support; and more. Hand in Hand also assists expectant fathers.

The program, started by a Campus Ministry graduate assistant in 1989 with Sr. Mary Louise Foley, FMI, goes to the heart of the University’s Catholic and Marianist mission and identity to support the dignity of every person. The program answers Bishop John D’Arcy’s call to “stand with women at this time of decision, to pray for them and to walk hand in hand with them” in the 1985 Pastoral Letter in Defense of Life.

“This is a way in which we deeply respect life – of the student as well as the unborn child,” Sullivan said. “We encourage everyone to share these resources so that people are aware the program exists to offer supportive accompaniment, whether they need it themselves or know someone who does.”

For more information, to seek support or to refer a student to the program, contact Bridget Ebbert, Anyone interested in supporting the program can give to Campus Ministry with a comment directing the gift for Hand in Hand.


News and Communications Staff