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Enneagram conference comes to campus

Many students on campus love to find their personality type together via the Enneagram. (Photograph by Kassie Joviak)

Many students on campus love to find their personality type together via the Enneagram. (Photograph by Kassie Joviak)

By Katherine Upton | Echo

Taylor’s Counseling Center is sponsoring “Know Your Number,” an Enneagram conference from March 2–3 in Cornwall Auditorium.

The conference will be led by instructor David Stamile in an effort to encourage attendees to pursue self-awareness and growth in their lives, calling and identities in God through an exploration of the nine basic Enneagram personality types.

Stamile’s background with the Enneagram includes multiple presentations in collegiate and church settings in addition to a two-year apprenticeship under Suzanne Stabile, an Enneagram speaker and co-author of “The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery.”

According to Caroline Poland, director of the Counseling Center, the staff began learning about the Enneagram from students as early as the beginning of the decade. As the Enneagram increased in popularity, the staff began to see it as a valuable tool for self-awareness and growth.

“Whether in relationships, spirituality, or growth, our wounds and hurts provide a lens in which we see the world, relate to God and relate to others/the world,” Poland said. “The Enneagram provides a way forward in understanding this lens and beginning to create growth within ourselves in this particular area.”

After the Counseling Center’s Enneagram groups met successfully, the staff began to envision how to encourage thoughtful community engagement with the Enneagram and came up with the idea of a conference.

Jena Kirk, assistant director of the Counseling Center, and her husband built a friendship with Stamile while living in Texas. Knowing of Stamile’s expertise with the Enneagram, they invited him to lead the conference invited to lead the conference. The hope of the Counseling Center through the conference, according to Kirk, is to continue to build stronger and healthier relationships individually, with God and with others.

Jesse Brown, dean of students and Title IX coordinator, sees the Enneagram as an asset to the university as well as a tool already utilized in interactions between Student Development and students.

The Enneagram is a tool rooted in the seven “deadly sins” of ancient Christianity. (Photograph provided by Wikimedia)

The Enneagram is a tool rooted in the seven “deadly sins” of ancient Christianity. (Photograph provided by Wikimedia)

“As an institution of higher education, we value reflection and self-awareness,” Brown said. “The enneagram is a lens to better understand ourselves in health or stress. Increased awareness leads to better self-care, self-compassion and understanding for one another. The enneagram can serve as a framework of understanding how I and my friends may behave when we are functioning well or poorly.”

According to Poland, while personality tests such as MBTI and Strengthsfinder tend to make people feel good, the nature of the Enneagram as a self-discovery process tends to make people feel less good. Rather, it provides self-awareness into unhealthy practices and steps toward growth.

Poland sees the Enneagram as a positive tool for understanding others and growing in the ability to love them well. Poland believes growth in self-awareness promotes stronger and healthier relationships with oneself, God and others.

“The Enneagram isn’t the end-all-be-all, but it provides a fantastic framework of understanding and self-awareness in moving towards a place of growth and health,” Poland said.

Brown hopes students will continue discussing the Enneagram in small groups, around meals and upon reflection in their spiritual lives. Brown believes the Enneagram numbers each reflect a characteristic of God’s activity in the world — a world in which the numbers need each other working together to better reflect the entirety of God.

The conference will kick-off Friday, March 2 from 6–9:15 p.m. and continue Saturday, March 3 from 8:30–11:45 a.m. Taylor students, faculty, staff and community members are all welcome.

Tickets can be purchased at the Eventbrite link: https://tu-enneagram.eventbrite.com. Questions regarding the conference can be directed to counselingcenter@taylor.edu.

Ticket Prices:

Students: $5.00

Faculty, Staff, TU Family: $10.00

Community: $20.00

Enneagram Resources:

Books: “The Road Back to You,” “The Sacred Enneagram”

Websites: The Enneagram Institute, Longways Ministries (Stamile’s website)

Podcasts: The Road Back to You, The Enneagram Journey, Typology

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