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Partners in Ministry

Founded in 1864 by the Society of Friends, Swarthmore College has deep roots in a spiritually inclusive Protestant faith that values diversity, intellectual curiosity, social justice, and respectful dialogue across difference. Partners in Ministry was founded in 1982 by local Protestant churches and the Friends meeting to support the continuing presence of a Christian and interfaith ministry of spiritual nurture on our campus in alignment with this Quaker tradition.

The Christian Protestant Chaplain is paid and supported by Partners in Ministry. While not officially a member of the College staff, the Protestant Chaplain is a member of the Interfaith team, and meets regularly with the Interfaith Center staff and other Advisors. The Protestant Chaplin reports to the Director of the Interfaith Center and to the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Community Development.

Partners in Ministry Mission Statement

Our Christian and interfaith witness at Swarthmore College is a ministry of presence and spiritual nurture. This ministry provides tangible evidence of the caring and concern of the local Protestant churches and Friends Meeting for students at this critical formative time in their lives. These students are an integral part of our faith and they will determine the vitality of gathered religious life for decades to come.

The College is working to support students who come from many different faith backgrounds and cultural perspectives. Partners in Ministry applauds this effort and wants to help unify the College community by encouraging the spiritual values that come through experiencing a loving and merciful God. We facilitate such experiences through regular worship, retreats, small gatherings, and individual counseling.

Partners in Ministry also seeks to encourage intrafaith and interfaith dialogue and activity. We are an alternative to, and at the same time seek common ground with, other Christian and religious groups on campus. We provide a balance for the sometimes secular cast of the College and the culture at large. We seek to support students from all backgrounds and encourage new seekers who are looking for a faith to guide their lives.

Partners in Ministry encourages students to develop a sense of selfhood in God that is person, meaningful, intellectually credible, and socially responsible. We believe that wholistic education of college students means their full development intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This vision inspired the founders of Swarthmore College and we share this vision today.