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Meet Marissa Biancardi, a senior ministry major with a nonprofit leadership concentration and media production minor at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul. This year, Biancardi also joins the spiritual formation team as a spiritual development assistant.

Darrin Geier, director of spiritual formation, fearlessly leads nine students that make up the spiritual formation team which assists in making chapel and spiritual development events the best they can be for students. UNW is a unique institution because it requires students to participate in spiritual development events and chapels to receive Spiritual Development Credits (SDC). Although SDC may have a bad reputation for some in the student body, time built into the school day for chapel allows students to build a habit of spending time with God which they can continue after graduation.

2022 Spiritual Formation Team

Biancardi enjoys helping UNW students develop their spiritual identity in Christ and encouraging them in their daily walk because it sets a foundation for the rest of their lives.

“School and life can be distracting. Being able to work on the spiritual formation side allows me to encourage others when they take time out of their busy school day to attend chapel.”


One of Biancardi’s main focuses this year is prayer. Prayer is an important factor in personal spiritual formation and without it, your relationship with God will not prosper. She hopes to “foster environments where prayer is central.”

One form of SDC at UNW is Tuesday Prayer Chapel. Biancardi is teaming up with the other spiritual development assistant Harper Aumock to revive prayer chapels. Previously, the prayer chapels have focused on one type of prayer. However, there are a variety of valuable ways to engage in prayer.

“This year in prayer chapel Harper and I want to explore different ways of praying: praying together, separately and interactively. We want this to be a place for everyone to feel comfortable and offer more variety than there was in the past.”

2022 Spiritual Development Assistants Marissa Biancardi and Harper Aumock

If you want to see the Lord at work around campus, make sure to attend chapel any day of the school week this year!