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People of SFU: Meet Seth Greenham, Multifaith Centre Director

March 18, 2022

When Seth Greenham began volunteering at SFU as a chaplain in 1999, the Multifaith Centre (MFC)—then known as the Interfaith Centre—had yet to call the AQ home and was still blossoming into the community we know today.

Twenty-two years later, Greenham is now the director of the MFC, which has expanded to five spaces (and counting) across SFU’s three campuses.

And after all this time, the job still hasn’t gotten old. As Greenham says, “Working with students and supporting them throughout their university journey—that’s what gets me up in the morning.”

Flourishing through faith

The Multifaith Centre is committed to supporting faculty, staff and students’ spiritual well-being while cultivating respect and understanding for different beliefs. The Centre is home to a collection of faith communities who have served SFU for 50 years.

Greenham stepped into the directorial role at the end of 2021, and while his job title may have changed, his desire to support community members’ growth through faith remains steady.

“Faith is a very important component of development—sometimes a misunderstood element in wellness,” he says. “But I think that SFU has really embraced and understood that people need a safe space to practice their faith and that it helps them excel in their time here.”

Reflecting on his own experience, Greenham understands the importance of providing a space students can come to when experiencing hurdles.

“Sometimes it’s challenging to be a student,” says Greenham. “In my own journey as a young adult, faith really provided a lot of guidance for me. Most students have a key moment in their degree where they need some extra support—whether it’s an academic setback, personal challenge or family issue—and it gives me great joy to help a student through their ‘moment’.”

At the heart of that joy is Greenham’s faith. Says Greenham, “I’m inspired by the teachings of Jesus and the call to service. So, to support and serve the SFU community is not only in alignment with my values but who I am as a Christian.”

Guided by care and understanding, Greenham’s leadership has been welcomed by the MFC team.

“Multifaith is a close community with unique operations, so I’m very grateful to have Seth as our new director,” says Rachel Craft, MFC program coordinator. "It was clear very early on that he understood the MFC and the importance of faith space at SFU. In his short time in this role, I have learned so much about the Centre's history, and he has invited me into planning new and greater ways we can serve the SFU community."

Coming together

During a typical day, you’ll likely find Greenham coordinating events with Student Services, providing pastoral care, advising the Centre’s faith workers and managing bookings across SFU campuses. The latter has been especially busy as of late; during the first week back on campus this year, the MFC booked a total of 400 rooms for faith communities.

But what exactly are these bookings for? The Multifaith Centre offers study groups around sacred texts, prayers for Muslim students, weekly Catholic mass and other religious services. These programs are also open to faculty and staff, many of whom frequent Sunday services and one-on-ones with MFC chaplains.

Other events and activities include collaborations with other departments, such as Move-In Day alongside Residence & Housing and the annual Dinner on Christmas Eve with Student Services. The Centre’s faith communities will also come together on March 23 for Non-Violence Day, commemorating an incident involving one of the MFC’s chaplains, to make a statement that they stand united against violence.

When asked what he would like the SFU community to know about the Multifaith Centre, Greenham emphasizes that the doors are always open.

“I’ve worked here for a long time, and I know that there are many people who walk by our space and are curious about it, but feel like they can’t walk in,” he says. “There’s no protocol to come and visit us! Feel free to drop in, no matter where you’re at in your faith journey. We’re here for you.”

The Multifaith Centre is open for you on the Burnaby (AQ Room 3200), Vancouver (Room 7314) and Surrey (Surrey Central Rooms 3005, 3002; Surrey SEE Room 3004) campuses. On March 23, join the MFC for Non-Violence Day and listen together in hopes of growing in mutual understanding, respect and love.

For the latest updates, you can connect with the MFC on Facebook and Instagram.