Heidelberg University is proud to be one of seventeen colleges and universities historically affiliated with the United Church of Christ.
Founded in 1850 by German Reformed Church, a denomination which would later become part of the United Church of Christ, Heidelberg University has highlighted the importance of faith and faith exploration among its student body. Heidelberg University has revered Reformed theology and has tried to live out the Reformed axiom “in necessary things: unity; in doubtful things: liberty; in all things: charity.”
Simply put, Heidelberg University has traditionally aligned its values and vision with the values and vision of the United Church of Christ. We are dedicated to deepening our faith through acts of social justice, meaningful worship, times of personal reflection and study, and engagement of people of diverse backgrounds. It means Heidelberg University is open and welcoming to people of all faiths – including people of no faith. Heidelberg University encourages the wider campus (including students, faculty and staff) to examine their values and wrestle with difficult questions. It means Heidelberg University affirms the importance of our spiritual walk as part of the basis for living a life of purpose with distinction.
Berg UCC: Berg UCC is composed of United Church of Christ students, as well as students of a variety of religious backgrounds. Berg UCC also serves as a bridge between the United Church of Christ and the Heidelberg Community. They discuss important social justice topics and help in promoting the historic connection of the UCC and the ‘Berg. The members of Begr UCC work for service, social transformation, and spiritual development together in various ways. They gather for service and fellowship at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in the loft above Berg Bistro 1850.
Black Church Life: Build religious supports for students of color. We provide opportunities to gather in fellowship, as well as inviting African-American church leaders to campus that offer their support. Black Church Life is offered to give under-represented groups on campus a space to feel comfortable with connecting to religion and spirituality.
Campus Fellowship (CRU): Campus Fellowship is a place for students and staff to come together for fun and Christian support. A Christian fellowship affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), Campus Fellowship holds weekly meetings at 9 p.m. on Mondays in Herbster Chapel in Pfleiderer Hall for students to come together and learn about the Gospel. Campus Fellowship members work to grow both as a community and as individuals in faith. Bible studies are also hosted for women at 9 p.m. on Thursday nights in Saurwein 209 and for men at 3 pm on Sunday’s in The University Commons 203 above Berg bistro.
Catholic Newman Club: Catholic Newman Club is a student organization affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Newman members meet at 8:15 p.m. every Tuesday in Beeghly Library 209 to discuss current and future projects. They also incorporate prayer and discussions of faith in their meetings. A monthly mass is held at 7 p.m. on Sunday nights in Herbster Chapel. All students who are interested in the Catholic faith, service and leadership opportunities are welcome.
Cultural and Spiritual Club: The Cultural and Spiritual Club is open to students of all faiths, as well as those questioning faith. The Cultural and Spiritual Club plans opportunities for the campus community to gather for exploring, deepening, nurturing and practicing our spiritual traditions. The Cultural and Spiritual Club offers students opportunities to go on service trips, gather for fellowship activities, hear religious speakers. Meetings are TBD.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes: Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a Christian support group for students involved in 'Berg Athletics. This group is open to all athletes, current and "retired." The group meets for Bible Study, prayer and fellowship at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in Saurwein Conference Room 223.
Muslim Student Life: Muslim Student Life (MSL) provides pastoral support, programs, resources, and services to further the identity and cultural development among Muslim students at Heidelberg University. In partnership with Jewish Life and Cultural and Spiritual Club, faculty, and students, the MSL office works actively to build community on campus. As a faith-based institution, Heidelberg provides resources to members of all faiths. On campus, there is a dedicated prayer room located in the upper floor of the Ubuntu house to serve the needs of both Muslim and non-Muslim students. Heidelberg is also an alcohol-free campus. Our signature programs include: Arabian Nights, Imam Keynote, Movie Nights and Religious Trips.
Religious Life Council: The Religious Life Council is a group with representatives from each of the religious life groups. The group meets monthly to consider the overall picture and plan for campus ministry and religious life at Heidelberg. The group also seeks to start new opportunities for spiritual life at Heidelberg and is open to new students with new ideas. The group meets every other week on TR 9pm and 7pm respectively on the 3rd floor of Campus Center.
The following are some of the places our Campus Minister likes to frequent while he is browsing the Web. Some are overtly spiritual while others are the web pages of organizations that the Campus Ministry program likes to work with. Some are just great places to get “lost” sometimes and to fill up the soul. We hope you find God in them all.
The United Church of Christ: Homepage for Heidelberg University’s Church Affiliation
The Student Ecumenical Partnership: Heidelberg is represented in this joint UCC and Disciples of Christ venture into the progressive student movement.
Campus Crusade for Christ: An amazing site for our evangelical students who may wish to use a variety of resources from this international Christian agency.
National Catholic Student Coalition: A wonderful link to the vast contributions that Catholic students are making in the global village.
Beliefnet: The largest online community dedicated to spirituality; from Christianity to Judaism, to Hinduism to New-age beliefs, everyone should find something at this site.
Sojourners: Advocacy and evangelicalism unite to change the world.
Killing the Buddha: This online journal has fantastic articles about faith. Don’t let the name scare you; this is not a “bash Buddha” website.
Relevant Magazine: In the opinion of the campus minister, God, life, and popular culture always went hand and hand.
The Christian Century: Want the latest in the world of Christianity and Culture, with a slightly more academic slant? Read this great monthly magazine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does religious life have to do with a liberal arts education?
Building lives of purpose with distinction: That is the mission of Heidelberg. What is your purpose? How will you achieve distinction in your life? Students are attending a liberal arts school that was built to transform society. We started out training teachers and preachers in the Reformed Christian tradition. Now, we are much broader in our scope and related to the United Church of Christ, a progressive, activist movement. We are still committed to an education to make a positive impact in the world while supporting all students from a variety of faith/spiritual traditions.
What is the background of Heidelberg’s Chaplain, and what is his purpose?
Paul Sittason Stark is an ordained United Methodist Elder with membership in the West Ohio Annual Conference. He also works very closely with the Norwest Ohio Association and the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ. He is present for everyone as a chaplain to encourage students in their spiritual quest. Roman Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Agnostic, Atheist? He supports our students. At the same time, in shaping global citizens he wants students to be aware of religions, beliefs and practices beyond what they’ve learned through family and community cultures.
What is religious life like on Campus?
At Heidelberg, we have a Religious Life Council meeting monthly that seeks to oversee religious life on campus. Beyond that, we have eight campus groups:
- Berg UCC
- Black Church Life
- Campus Fellowship (CRU)
- Catholic Newman Club
- Cultural and Spiritual Club
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes
- Jewish Student Life
- Muslim Student Life
Where are the sacred spaces at Heidelberg?
We have three designated sacred spaces: Rickly Chapel in University Hall seats 600 people; Herbster Chapel in Pfleiderer Hall seats 100 people; and the Dorothy Castanien Parsell Quiet Room in Campus Center for prayer and reflection.
What worship services are hosted on campus?
Matters of Faith is a time for weekly music and a message from noon to 12:20 p.m. each Thursday in Herbster Chapel with guest speakers, students, staff and faculty. Campus Fellowship has another student-led Christian Worship service at 9 p.m. Monday nights in Campus Center Great Hall. Catholic Newman Club sponsors a monthly mass at 7 p.m. on Sunday nights in Herbster Chapel.
What else does Campus Ministry and Religious Life sponsor?
Retreats, studies on social justice, vocational discernment and scripture studies.