Chaplains

Frequently Asked Questions about Willamette University and The United Methodist Church

  1. Is Willamette a "Christian College"?
  2. What religious traditions are represented on campus?
  3. Are there chapel services?
  4. What about local houses of worship?
  5. Are there special considerations for United Methodists?
  6. What provisions are there for people of other faiths?
  7. Are there Bible study opportunities?
  8. What about students who choose not to participate in a religious tradition?
  9. How can I get further information?

1. Is Willamette a "Christian College"?

Though Willamette is church-related, it values free inquiry and does not make religious affiliation or doctrinal uniformity a condition for admission or employment.

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2. What religious traditions are represented on campus?

Christians of many denominations, Jews and a sprinkling of people from other religious traditions teach and work at Willamette. Student religious information is typically volunteered by half of an entering class: Of these, 40 percent identify as generically "Christian" or "Protestant." Of those who declare a particular affiliation, Catholics are the most prominent, followed by Lutherans, United Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Latter-day Saints, Baptists and Jews. In short, campus religious patterns closely approximate those of Willamette's geographical context.

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3. Are there chapel services?

Sunday services in Cone Chapel are held only on an occasional, seasonal basis, although a mid-week prayer service is held when CLA classes are in session. Cone Chapel is used frequently for private prayer and meditation, for weddings and memorial services, for convocations (often addressing ethical, social or spiritual issues) and for music recitals.

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4. What about local houses of worship?

Salem's religious communities welcome Willamette students. There are a half-dozen churches within walking distance of campus, including United Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Baptist, Congregational (U.C.C.) and Catholic. Salem's Jewish community (Temple Beth Sholom) and other churches of many denominations and traditions are a short drive away.

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5. Are there special considerations for United Methodists?

United Methodist students have access to a denominationally-based scholarship and loan program, as well as some specially designated Willamette funds. Details are available from the Office of Financial Aid.

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6. What provisions are there for people of other faiths?

The Office of the Chaplains is university liaison with a range of student religious groups. The Office of the Chaplains is ready to help other religious groups organize as need is demonstrated.

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7. Are there Bible study opportunities?

Yes; at least two student religious groups sponsor residence hall Bible studies across the campus. On request, the Office of the Chaplains will help organize others.

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8. What about students who choose not to participate in a religious tradition?

Undergraduate years are typically a time during which deep questions are asked and identity is formed -- not necessarily in an institutionally religious setting. The University supports all students in their seeking. Many unaffiliated students explore their spirituality through community service or in their academic work -- typically in religious studies, philosophy, psychology, anthropology and literature courses.

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9. How can I get further information?

Visit or call the Office of the Chaplains on the second floor of the Putnam University Center, 503-370-6213, or email us.

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