Welcome from the Chaplain's Office
The College Chaplain or campus pastor has the responsibility of overseeing the spiritual life of the campus community, that students, faculty, and staff may be furthered in the knowledge and the love of the Lord during their time at Wheaton.
Pastoral responsibilities include coordinating on-campus worship and networking the spiritual life resources of the community. With thousands of members, the Wheaton College community has cares and concerns that number far beyond the scope of the capacity of the Chaplain's Office for ministry. So we depend on the pastoral gifts and spiritual sensitivities of many people on campus who supplement and extend the ministerial duties and pastoral care of the Office of the Chaplain.
The most visible part of the work of the Chaplain's office involves the development and implementation of a Chapel program that works at building community, enabling worship, and fostering Christlikeness. Three times a week, students enter the worship environment of Edman Chapel to experience a needed respite from the busyness of campus life. By mere attendance in Chapel students contribute to a sense of corporate community, and in participatory worship students encourage the faith development of their peers. As an experience shared by the entire community, Chapel stimulates campus-wide discussion of current issues and ideas. View the Chapel Schedule.
Discipleship Small Group
The Discipleship Small Group ministry also serves to encourage students to help one another become like Jesus as they journey together during their years at Wheaton. Interested students are organized into small groups led by fellow students that provide a safe haven among peers, allowing for mutual support and encouragement, safety in struggle, and a place to become more like Christ.
The staff of the Chaplain's Office at Wheaton includes the Chaplain Emeritus Dr. Dave McDowell, Clayton Keenon (Ministry Associate for Discipleship and Graduate Chapel), Elizabeth Studebaker (Discipleship Small Groups Graduate Resident Assistant), Marilyn Brenner (Ministry Associate for Care and Administration), Leslie Royalty Weinzettel (Office Assistant), and four Student Chaplains. In the 2014-2015 school year, the Student Chaplains are Abby Coster, Catherine Holt, Ryan Kerns, and Daniel Kim. The Student Chaplains function as consultants and advisors to the Chaplain's Office while exercising their own gifts of ministry among their fellow students. The work of the Chaplain's Office is also enhanced through gifts in music and worship offered by the Chapel Worship Band, co-led by seniors Whitney Hall and Andrew Sedlacek, and through the discipleship ministry provided by students serving on the Discipleship Small Groups Cabinet. An informal Student Chapel Advisory Committee also meets every other week to offer invaluable feedback and ideas to lend added inspiration to the chapel program.
The Chaplain's Office desires to be a "safe place" for members of the community to find pastoral care, encouragement, and affirmation in being, belonging, and becoming. Though pastoral ministry takes place, this does not mean that the College considers itself a church. It isn't. Students are encouraged to become active in a local church (please see the 2014-2015 church directory for a listing of churches in the area (PDF)). But during the time students are enrolled at Wheaton, we desire to be available. The Chaplain's Office is located on the north end of the Beamer Student Center - at ext. 5087.
Gold Star Chapel, located in the Beamer Student Center, is a small memorial chapel always open for personal prayer and meditation. To insure its availability for individual use, Gold Star Chapel cannot be reserved for group functions.