300-seat ecumenical Christian sanctuary allows for bold mix of faith, academics
Today Belmont University unveiled its new campus Chapel, the first space on the ecumenical Christian university’s campus intentionally designed for worship services. Located on the ground floor of the new Wedgewood Academic Center at the corner of 15th and Wedgewood Avenues, the Chapel sits as a focal point within a larger structure that will house three of the University’s Colleges: Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Sciences & Mathematics and Theology & Christian Ministry. The Chapel will host services three times a week during the fall and spring semesters, as well as special services of worship throughout the year. Click here to view the Chapel dedication in its entirety.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “A guiding principle in Belmont’s strategic Vision 2020 is to embed strong Christian character in everything we do. By housing Belmont’s Chapel in the University’s largest building—in an academic structure where every undergraduate student will have classes—we are both living out our mission and providing a much-needed gathering space for corporate worship opportunities.”
Belmont students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to attend services in the new Chapel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. where, in addition to participating in student-led worship music, they can listen to nationally acclaimed scholars address a myriad of topics through the lens of faith. Guests this fall include MIT-trained physicist Dr. Deborah Haarsma, Harvard Law School graduate Bryan Stevenson, trauma surgeon Dr. David Vanderpool and Grand Ole Opry member and Belmont alumnus Josh Turner, among others.
In addition to seating for 270 on the main floor and an additional 30 in the balcony, the Chapel will offer live streaming of events, and two nearby classrooms can provide overflow space for 150. The impressive two-story layout includes arched, double height clear glass windows on the exterior that are mirrored on the interior and are veiled by a layer of art glass. The art glass includes the motif of three crosses and creates a sanctuary experience filled with both breathtaking beauty and peaceful stillness. An art glass rosette, named the Holleman Rose Medallion, provides the focal point for the front of the chapel and is named in loving memory of Christa Holleman, wife of Belmont Trustee Jim Holleman. The space is also equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual capabilities that are fully integrated into the design so that the Chapel can be a multi-functional venue for spiritual life at Belmont.
Vice President for Spiritual Development Dr. Todd Lake noted, “Belmont University is making a bold statement about the mutually supporting nature of faith and learning by placing its new Chapel in the Wedgewood Academic Center. Other universities have built Chapels as part of a divinity school building, but Belmont is doing something truly innovative in placing a stunning Chapel at the heart of an academic building. It is an architectural embodiment of the fact that Belmont is a Christian community of learning and service.”
In addition to the guests highlighted below who are confirmed to appear at Chapel gatherings during the first two months of classes, throughout the fall Chapel will explore how faith concerns intersect with a variety of current topics, including healthcare, immigration, poverty and business.
Fall Chapel Speaker Highlights for August/September
(Services are held in the Chapel unless otherwise noted. A complete schedule can be found online.)
Fri., Aug. 22: Belmont President Bob Fisher on “What Really Matters”
Wed., Aug. 27: MIT-trained Physicist Dr. Deborah Haarsma on “Evolution & God”
Wed., Sept. 3: Civil Rights’ leader/author Dr. John Perkins on “Poverty & Justice”
Fri., Sept. 5: Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Dr. Frank Page on “Suicide & Hope”
Mon., Sept. 8: Blue Like Jazz Author Donald Miller on “Living a Better Story”*
Wed., Sept. 10: Big Idea Productions Co-Founder Mike Nawrocki on “Veggie Tales”*
Mon., Sept. 15: Bethel World Outreach Senior Minister/author Dr. Rice Broocks on “God’s Not Dead”
Mon., Sept. 22 Equal Justice Initiative Executive Director Bryan Stevenson on “Fighting Legal Injustice”
Mon., Sept. 29 Former U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team member Kyle Rote, Jr. on “Sports & Faith”
* Due to the size of the anticipated crowd, these services will be held in the Massey Performing Arts Center.