Millsaps College was founded in 1890 as a Methodist-affiliated institution. A key goal of our strategic plan, (see Goal 4, Ethical Heritage and Church Relations), renews the energy of our generative relationship and our mutual quest to embody the spirit of John Wesley, by emphasizing scholarly inquiry, holy conferencing, social holiness, and spiritual growth.
Our Methodist-affiliated lineage is one of social justice and critical reflection on the most important questions in life. Methodist tradition manifests a deep concern for the physical and spiritual well-being of all people. The UMC asserts the belief “that colleges and universities are to ensure that academic freedom is protected for all members of the academic community and a learning environment is fostered that allows for a free exchange of ideas.” The United Methodist Church affirms “the joining of reason and faith” and urges the guardianship of “the expression of religious life on campus.” The Office of the Chaplain strongly affirms these principles.
In keeping with the welcoming of people from all religious traditions or no religious tradition, the Millsaps community is committed to equipping students, faculty, and staff for a meaningful life of service to others. The Office of the Chaplain shepherds this priority.
The Office of the Chaplain provides for the availability of pastoral and spiritual care for all campus constituents; facilitation of planning and leadership for campus-wide worship opportunities; management of use of the campus chapel; advising the Multi-Faith Initiative; coordinating availability of resources and space for campus religious groups; and management of the McNair Fund for Christian Mission.
The Chaplain’s Office houses the office of the Campus Minister. The Campus Minister is available to all students who are open to pastoral care and programming from a Wesleyan perspective. The Campus Minister operates under the umbrella of the Office of Student Life.
The Chaplain’s Office directs external church relations. In consultation with the Office of the President, in respect to external relations, the Chaplain’s Office collaborates with the Offices of Institutional Advancement, Alumni Relations, and Admissions.
A central component of church relations is the Center for Ministry a joint venture of Millsaps College and The Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The Center is devoted to developing Christian leaders through lifelong learning. The Center is housed within the Office of the Chaplain, under the umbrella of Millsaps’ Institute of Civic and Professional Engagement
The Center, in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, offers the Center for Ministry Program. Developed for clergy and lay persons of all denominations, this training in spiritual direction provides a rich Christian context for one’s faith journey while studying classic and contemporary spiritual writings and developing one’s capacity to accompany others on their faith journey. Completion of Journey Partners by Millsaps students fulfills the requirements of the Major Experience.
Following the renovation of the Christian Center on campus, future plans include a Millsaps Youth Academy for high school students, a Millsaps Worship Resource Academy, and class instruction for Millsaps students interested in Wesleyan studies. For further information contact Joey Shelton or Paige Swaim-Presley.