Whose values and actions encourage contributions to the well-being of humanity.
Spiritual Life at Southwestern (Photo credit: © Todd White Studios)
Chaplain Dr. Ron Swain (Photo credit: © Todd White Studios)
Lois Perkins Chapel (Photo credit: Southwestern University)
Candlelight Service, Lois Perkins Chapel
Southwestern University traces its founding to four United Methodist root colleges beginning with Rutersville College founded in 1840. Over the course of its history, Southwestern has emerged as a select liberal arts college which ranks among the best in the United States. Central to the University’s existence are its Core Purpose and Core Values. It is intentional that the language “Core” is used here, because these statements are at the heart of University and are the “northstar” to which all its members aspire.
In the Wesleyan tradition of the Methodist movement, the University seeks to equip the mind with intellectual excellence (knowledge) and encourage the heart with the values (vital piety) that these two joined together to prepare our graduates to take actions for the well-being of humankind.
The spiritual well-being of every member in the Southwestern University community is vitally important. The primary focus of the Office of Spiritual Life is to assist members, not only in their personal spiritual health, but also to strive for the spiritual health of the community as a whole. Purpose and meaning in life is fundamental to spiritual well-being. Thus, spiritual discernment is an essential element of the Southwestern University experience. The University Chaplain collaborates with trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and friends of the University to fulfill this mission.
Southwestern University is proud to welcome and nurture a diverse community of a variety of religious backgrounds as well as non-religious people. In Fall 2022, 45.4% of our students identified as Christians from various denominations, including: Non-denominational, Roman Catholic, United Methodist, Baptists, Episcopal, and Presbyterian making up the majority of them. Judaism, Islam and Hindu represented the highest percentage of non-Christians, totalling 2.0%; another. 2.7% identified no affiliation; 7.1% identified as agnostic/atheist and 41.6% left the item Blank. (Source: Institutional Research)