Spiritual Life - Undergraduate

Website: https://emu.edu/studentlife/spiritual-life
Phone: (540) 432-4115

Website: https://emu.edu/studentlife/spiritual-life

Phone: (540) 432-4115

The University Chaplain and Faith and Spiritual Life staff are a spiritual resource available to students, faculty and staff for conversation, counseling, support and prayer.  The chaplain offers spiritual mentoring, relational pastoral care, and coordinates programs for spiritual formation and spiritual growth including campus worship services, faith formation groups, retreats and special events. The Office of Faith and Spiritual Life is located in the University Commons, 2nd floor, Student Life Suite (UC 224).

University Chaplain / Director - Office of Faith and Spiritual Life

Brian Martin Burkholder, University Chaplain/Director, 540-432-4115, brian.burkholder@emu.edu.


A space for developing a sense of community in response to EMU core values and commitments. Speakers engage timely conversations and explore topics from a variety of Christian and interfaith perspectives. Convocation is held every other Wednesday from 10:10-11 a.m. in Lehman Auditorium.

Campus Worship

A space for corporate community worship in a variety of styles over the course of the semester. Campus Worship is held every other Wednesday from 10:10-11 a.m. in Martin Chapel.

Seminary Chapel is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-11:45 a.m. in Martin Chapel (Seminary building).

Convo Breakout Gatherings 

Convo Breakout Gatherings happen at the same time as Campus Worship. These groups are small group, topic-specific conversations held every other Wednesday from 10:10-11 a.m. in various campus locations.

Convocation and Campus Worship Schedule and Podcasts

The schedule for convocation, campus worship and related events are posted in the events box of the myEMU (portal).  It is found at this link: http//www.my.emu.edu/ics. Podcasts of input from convocation, campus worship and related events are posted at this link:  http://emu.edu/blog/podcast/.

Student Chaplain and Student Chaplain Assistants

Student chaplains are student leaders serving the EMU campus community in focused faith and spiritual life roles. They can focus on worship, service, interfaith, sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion, peacebuilding, community, or wellness. Student chaplains meet regularly with the university chaplain and are paid with university work-program funds.

Student chaplain assistants are students who volunteer to assist student chaplains as part of the faith and spiritual life team. They might also assist with faith and spiritual life clubs like Y-Serve, Celebration (praise worship), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Alpha-Omega Dancers for Christ, Hymn Sing, and the Gospel Choir or develop their own connections through prayer, encouragement, Bible study, and relationship building wherever they are living.

Journey Conversation Groups and Small Groups

Journey conversation groups, groups of 2-3 students matched with a faculty or staff member, meet regularly for mutual personal, spiritual, and faith formation. Assistance and support in forming other  small groups is provided. Any student desiring to lead a specific type of small group is encouraged to discuss it with the university chaplain or student chaplain.

Retreats and Adventures

Periodic faith and spiritual growth retreats are offered through the Office of Faith and Spiritual Life. One-day and overnight retreats, focusing on exploring one’s vocation and calling are offered. Other options include quiet prayerful retreats, spiritual disciplines/practices retreats, and outdoor adventures.

Spiritual Mentoring/Companion

Faith and Spiritual Life staff will assist students in finding a seminary student spiritual companion and/or provide spiritual mentoring themselves as available. Use this form to request a spiritual companion.

Spiritual Renewal Events 

Each semester, emphasis is given to spiritual growth and renewal on campus. Faithful leaders are invited to provide input and special activities are planned by Faith and Spiritual Life. 

Meditation - Prayer Rooms 

Several rooms are set aside for meditation and prayer. These spaces are intentionally accessible for interfaith use. They are located in the Northlawn Residence Hall (NL148B) and the Seminary building.

Congregational Involvement

Students are encouraged to connect with one of the many congregations in the Harrisonburg area. Information about area churches and faith communities of several denominations is provided on EMU’s area church directory. Students needing transportation to church services will find contact information on this page.