Religious Life

Washington & Jefferson College is an independent institution subject only to the control of its Board of Trustees. It is not affiliated with any religious denomination. As an educational institution in the liberal arts tradition, W&J is committed to the growth of the whole person. The college offers opportunities for religious inquiry through academic courses and recognizes the value and place of spiritual development in its curricular and extracurricular programs.

The tradition of the College is nonsectarian, ensuring individual students complete freedom in their religious beliefs. In that respect, the first priority of religious life on campus is the spiritual well being of every student, regardless of faith or creed. Within the spirit and practice of free inquiry, campus culture should enable, yet not inhibit, students to investigate connections between their chosen academic fields, their career aspirations, their community involvement, and their spiritual values. The College commits its facilities and resources to the nurturing process by providing support for students as they continue to grow morally and spiritually.

Four student organizations exist to help meet the spiritual and social needs of students—the Hillel Society, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Newman Club, and the Orthodox Christian Fellowship.

While religious life opportunities exist on campus, students are also encouraged to worship with the congregations available in the community. More than two dozen congregations are located within walking distance of the campus. Additional churches and places of worship are located farther away; many of them will provide transportation upon request. (Consult the W&J Directory of Places of Worship ).

The College chaplain coordinates a program that includes religious programs, advising student religious organizations, spiritual counseling of students, and functions as liaison with community religious organizations. Students are afforded opportunities for religious expression through self-initiated activities. The Religious Activities Board is responsible for assisting in planning, coordinating, and implementing religious programs at the college.

For more information, contact Dr. Robert Vande Kappelle, the College chaplain.