Do all the good you can,

By all the means you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as you ever can.
--attributed to John Wesley, Founder of the Methodist Church, and the one for whom Illinois Wesleyan University is named

Spiritual and religious life at Illinois Wesleyan University is rooted in the heritage of the United Methodist Church, and Evelyn Chapel celebrates the religious and secular diversity of today’s students, faculty, and staff.  Diverse beliefs, convictions, and spiritual practices are welcome here and so are a diversity of questions.  Questions—about who we are and what we are for—are perennial in and for the liberal arts tradition.  At Evelyn Chapel, through weekly programming and special events, we seek to provide a venue for asking those questions, and we work at the crossroads of intellectual exploration, spiritual reflection, community service, and interfaith dialogue. 



All students—of all religious and non-religious traditions—are welcome at Evelyn Chapel.



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 Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger is available to students, faculty, and staff for conversation, support, and spiritual care. Students may call or email her to make an appointment, or just stop by during published office hours. Contact Chaplain Elyse at or 309-556-3179. The Office of University Chaplain is a Safe Zone.  Website:




Explore Faith and Spirituality

Engage in Multifaith Conversation and Friendship


map 2016

Multifaith Ambassadors Program


Launched in Fall 2013, The Multifaith Ambassador Program is a unique leadership program for students who represent a variety of religious and non-religious perspectives and beliefs, and who are passionate about understanding and engaging religious diversity on campus, in their own communities, and in the world.  Working collaboratively with one another and University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger, Ambassadors build and create interfaith community through weekly programming like Multifaith Hour and ReligiosiTEA, as well as special events throughout the year.  Participation in this leadership program includes the willingness to respectfully engage multiple worldviews and traditions, and seek places of both common and contested ground for the sake of learning, cooperation and action. Ambassadors have the opportunity to learn more about their own beliefs and to explore what interfaith means within their traditions, and to deepen their understandings of global citizenship, justice, and peace in a pluralistic world. Ambassadors also have the opportunity to participate in leadership development across campus and at conferences throughout the year. 

Highlights of Fall 2016 include:

  • Attendance at Interfaith Youth Core's Interfaith Leadership Conference in Chicago in August 2016
  • "Harvesting Help: An Interfaith Service Day" in November 2016 
  • “Light the Night: A Multicultural Celebration of the Season of Light” with significant student participation as service leaders and attendees in December 2016
  • a new edition of the IWU Interfaith Journal entitled Encounters
  • leadership of ReligiosiTEA and IWU Interfaith

For more information about this student leadership and stipended program, please email University Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger at 


Discover Ways to Serve


There are opportunities throughout to year to join with students across religious and non-religious traditions out of our shared values of service and social justice.  Major events for 2016-2017 include “Harvesting Help,” an interfaith day of service in November; dinner prep nights at Safe Harbor; and food packaging events through Illini Fighting Hunger.  

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. Since 2012, students have worked with: Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and West Virginia; Tree of Life Relief Agency at Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota; and Appalachia Service Project in Kentucky.  Interfaith Engagement and Service trips to Chicago have also been offered for Fall Breaks in October.  


Alternative Fall Break:  Chicago Interfaith Engagement and Service

October 14-16, 2016

This trip, for up to 24 participants, is designed to promote religious literacy, encourage interfaith dialogue and appreciation, make connections between spirituality and social justice, and explore the role of women as leaders in these communities.  We will stay at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Lincoln Park, visit five different faith communities across the city, attend a screening of an interfaith-related film at the Chicago International Film Festival, and volunteer with non-profit organizations.  The cost to each student for this trip is $125.  Scholarships are available.  Student may apply online beginning in September 2016.  Registration for this retreat is now closed.


Alternative Spring Break: Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge

March 11-18, 2017

For many years, the Chapel has partnered with the Habitat for Humanity Registered Student Organization to coordinate a Collegiate Challenge trip.  The purpose of these trips is to provide students the opportunity to volunteer with peers, to explore social justice issues in a unique community, and to reflect on their own spiritual and/or ethical commitments to service.  A student leadership team works with Chaplain and other University faculty and/or staff to select the site and to lead team meetings on and before the trip.  The cost to each student for this trip is $250.  Scholarships are available.  Registration is now closed.  This year’s location is Fort Smith, Arkansas.  

You are welcome to contact me at or 309-556-3179.

Welcome to Illinois Wesleyan University!

Rev. Elyse Nelson Winger, University Chaplain



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