Spiritual Life

History and Architecture

A Guide to Understanding Its Symbolism by E.H. Steelman

Lois Perkins Chapel

The Lois Perkins Chapel has served as a place for worship, special services, ceremonies, concerts, lectures and private prayer for generations of students, faculty and staff since its construction in 1950. The Lois Perkins Chapel has elements of Christian symbolism from Protestant and Catholic traditions and is open to persons of any faith as a place of prayer and meditation.

In 1992, Professor Emeritus E.H. Steelman, wrote a guide to the Chapel’s architecture, furnishings and stained glass windows. The virtual tour includes portions of Dr. Steelman’s book as a way of introducing the symbols found within the Chapel and the symbolism of the Chapel itself. The Chapel is rich with the symbols and history that have helped to shape the Christian tradition and have influenced the history of Southwestern University. The use of color, light and space converge to invite persons to enter into religious experience through sacred space. The Chapel windows introduce persons to basic concepts and prominent figures in church history, while also inviting persons into a relationship with the spiritual reality to which they point.

The sites to visit in the Chapel and Chapel Garden are listed to the left. Simply click on the area you would like to visit and enjoy learning more about it.