Healthcare professionals discuss challenges to their faith amid pandemic


Britt Luby, an associate chaplain at TCU shown in the top left, hosts the virtual Crossroads Lecture on Faith and Public Life. Rachel Rudberg, shown in the top right, and Dr. Ryan Huey, shown in the bottom, were the panelists in the Oct. 15 lecture. (Samantha Knapp/Staff Reporter)

By Samantha Knapp

Healthcare professionals spoke at TCU’s annual Crossroads Lecture on Faith and Public Life about challenges to their faith during the pandemic.

The lecture, entitled “Vocation, Faith and COVID-19,” featured discussion among TCU alumni in the health care industry.

Dr. Ryan Huey (’08) and Rachel Rudberg (’17) said the pandemic did not change the things they were seeing on a daily basis.

“I see horrible things happening to people all the time, so COVID-19 has not really changed that considerably,” Huey said.

As a gastrointestinal medical oncologist, Huey said he meets patients during the worst parts of their lives. He had to balance faith and reality as the pandemic began.

“Early on there was not this superhero sense that God is going let me do this job and let me be awesome at it and nothing is going to go wrong,” he said. “That would be a nice story to write but I can’t do that.”

Read more: The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life to host eighth annual Crossroads Lecture

While COVID-19 has not affected how their faith interacts with their work life, the pandemic has changed how Rudberg and Huey connect to their religious communities.

Rudberg, who grew up in both Orthodox and Conservative Jewish environments and was president of TCU Hillel, said she has not been able to have a sense of community and complete many of the prayers during the pandemic.

“Rabbis have come up with new rules to practice the 613 commandments without breaking Jewish law,” Rudberg said.

Huey said he lost his sense of in-person community at church but was able to “de-facto” lead a small group via Zoom.

During their weekly meetings, the small group reflected on members’ feelings, what the Bible had to say and words of encouragement.