Whitworth has a long history of excellence in the teaching of theology at both the undergraduate and now the graduate levels, serving our students with vibrant campus ministry opportunities throughout the week, and coming alongside congregations to strengthen the church through programs like the Whitworth Institute of Ministry.
As the Whitworth student body grew exponentially during the Robinson era, so too did the number of faculty members in the theology department, to the point that they were forced to relocate their offices out of the chapel and into Westminster Hall, at the northern edge of the campus.
More recently, the university has received a significant series of key grants, establishing the office of church engagement and inaugurating an exciting new season of outreach to churches in the region and around the world.
The staffs of the campus ministry program, the theology department, and the office of church engagement would love to share a building, as it would allow for greater synergy between all three programs and collegiality between staff and students.
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The Seeley Mudd Chapel was completed in 1978. Its Loop location is unique and places the spiritual heart of Whitworth central to the campus core. Recent conversations with a local architect have resulted in a visionary design for a simple and elegant addition to the existing facility that would allow all three departments to share a single space.
At a comparatively modest current project cost of approximately $2.4 million, the new and remodeled facilities would provide offices for more than 20 faculty, staff and student employees, new gathering spaces for students, and nominal renovations to the existing chapel restrooms, break room, and audio visual system. This functional facility enhancement offers significant return on a relatively nominal investment.
Whitworth believes the time for these departments to be co-located is now. Recent faculty and administrative hires in these areas have secured the direction of the campus ministry and theology programs for the foreseeable future, and the exciting new offerings and entrepreneurial spirit of the office of church engagement has breathed new life into our institutional service to local churches throughout the region, and across denominational boundaries.
This facility will become the vibrant new home for the theology department, the office of church engagement, and campus ministries, heralding an exciting new day for service to our students and to the church.