The Office of University Chaplain at Evelyn Chapel offers spiritual growth opportunities to students, faculty, and staff; promotes awareness and appreciation of religious diversity; assists in the exploration of ethical questions, issues and values; and provides spiritual care to members of the campus community. The University Chaplain also participates in the ceremonial life of the University; oversees the use and operations of Evelyn Chapel; and coordinates Alternative Break programs in cooperation with IWU’s Action Research Center.
All students—of all religious and non-religious traditions—are welcome at Evelyn Chapel.
Explore Faith and Spirituality
Facilitated by the University Chaplain and student leaders, ReligiosiTEA is a Thursday 4:00pm gathering (complete with caffeine and cookies) that encourages lively, honest conversation about a variety of topics…in a multireligious context. On any given afternoon, 15-20 students representing a variety of Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and non-religious perspectives share their faith (or non-faith) convictions and questions. Themes—determined by students themselves during the 2014-2015 academic year—have included: religion and violence, practices of prayer, the role of women, the LGBT community, free speech and censorship, understandings of love and compassion…and more. Join the IWU Interfaith Facebook group for weekly themes and updates.
Each Wednesday, the Multifaith Ambassador Team meets to discuss current texts on interfaith cooperation and religious diversity and to plan interfaith discussions (like ReligiosiTEA) and interfaith events (like service days and cultural events like "Light the Night") for campus. For more information about this student leadership and stipended program, please email University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger at email@example.com.
Certain Wednesdays throughout the semester also include campus-wide events at Evelyn. Check out our Events Page for more information!
In partnership with the Council on Religious Life, Evelyn Chapel supports all student religious Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and the broad diversity of religious life on campus. Please visit the Spiritual RSO page for more information about each group.
Engage in Multifaith Conversation and Friendship
Multifaith Ambassadors Program
Facilitated by the University Chaplain, MAP is a student leadership program for students interested in: deepening their appreciation for and friendship with people from different religious and non-religious traditions; creating bonds of compassion and cooperation on this campus; and, exploring what it means to be a person of faith in a pluralistic society. Highlights of the 2014-2015 school year included:
- "Storytelling for Social Change: Seeking Justice in a Multifaith America:" an address by interfaith leader Valarie Kaur, co-sponsored by Student Senate
- “Light the Night: A Multicultural Celebration of the Season of Light” with significant student participation as service leaders and attendees
- Harvesting Help: An Interfaith Service Day including thirty IWU students from a range of religious and secular traditions
- Participation in the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice’s Fall 2014 Human Rights Workshop and Spring 2015 Student Undergraduate Research Workshop on free speech and human rights
- The development of a new Interfaith Prayer Space for IWU, to be dedicated in August 2015
- The release of an inaugural IWU Interfaith Journal
- Leadership of ReligiosiTEA and IWU Interfaith
Discover Ways to Serve
As University Chaplain, I also facilitate opportunities for students to serve locally and nationally and explore issues of diversity and social justice through our Alternative Break program. In Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, a total of four trips were offered, giving students the opportunity to engage with local communities in West Bloomington (A Local Service Break), Chicago (Interfaith Engagement and Service Trip), Mission, South Dakota (Tree of Life Relief Agency at Rosebud Reservation), and Albany, Georgia (Habitat for Humanity’s Collegiate Challenge). Two trips were offered in 2014-2015: an Interfaith Engagement and Service trip to Chicago in October 2014 and an Alternative Spring Break experience in Chavies, Kentucky with the Appalachia Service Project in March 2015.
Evelyn Chapel is also a place to just come and be. During the school year, the Chapel is open seven days a week from 8:00am to 11:00pm. There are always spaces available to study, gather for conversation, or make a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. And I am available to students, faculty, and staff for conversation, support, and spiritual care. Students may call or email me to make an appointment, or just stop by. The Office of University Chaplain is a Safe Zone.
You are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-556-3179.
Welcome to Illinois Wesleyan University!
Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger, University Chaplain