Otterbein is a place where your faith and your wondering are welcome and respected.
Office of Religious & Spiritual Life
Location: Mikesell House, 82 W. Main St.
Hours: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Summer Hours: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Rev. Dr. Judy Guion-Utsler
The chaplain at Otterbein, Judy Guion-Utsler, is an advocate for students and the many diverse and beautiful ways they live out their spirituality by making meaning from experience. Her office is located in the Mikesell House, and she always has chocolate and a place to sit and talk about anything.
About Faith & Spiritual Life at Otterbein
- Otterbein is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and the majority of students who identify a faith are Christian. We’ve got all kinds—Catholics and Protestants, from mainline denominations, evangelical denominations, and independent churches.
- We also have students who are Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim and there are organizations to support them and provide community.
- We have students who identify as Atheists and a lot of students who identify as “nones” in regard to religious preference.
- We want every student to consider big questions and learn to make meaning from experiences.
- We want every student to learn from people who share their faith and from those who have very different perspectives.
- At Otterbein, spirituality and reflection are for everyone!
- There are lots of churches who are delighted to welcome students within walking distance of campus!
- Church of the Master United Methodist Church is our partner in ministry and located across the street from Towers Hall. They do a lot for students and provide a warm and welcoming place to worship.
- St. Paul’s Catholic Church is about a mile from campus, and students who are part of the Otterbein Catholic Student Ministry organization car pool there each week for mass.
- Other churches are close by, too: Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian and non-denominational churches are ready to welcome students for worship. Some students go a bit farther to church, and are willing to provide transportation.
- There is a Mosque near campus (and a masjid on campus for daily prayer); there’s a Jewish synagogue in Worthington, a Buddhist temple in Columbus and a Hindu Temple in Lewis Center. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, the chaplain is happy to help you find your community.
Putting Faith Into Action
The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is actively engaged in finding ways for students to connect their spirituality, their faith, and their actions through social justice and service.
- The Ally Project is a group of students who work to create a more inclusive campus through peer to peer education, by facilitating discussions about race, privilege, stereotypes, implicit bias and social justice.
- Habitat for Humanity provides students with a way to connect to our community through Collegiate Challenge, an alternative spring break trip, occasional build days with our affiliate, Habitat for Humanity of Delaware and Union Counties, through education about inadequate housing in our community and raising funds to support Habitat.
- The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and the Cardinal Corps Leaders oversee more than a dozen weekly service opportunities. Service is part of Otterbein’s culture and it is also an essential part of faith. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life actively works with the CCE in many events and opportunities, including Fall Plunge, the Fall Harvest Festival and the annual Celebration of Service.
College is an amazing time, and there will be all kind of experiences and transformations during your time at Otterbein. Many of them will be wonderful. And some may be truly challenging. If you feel alone and overwhelmed at any time, the Chaplain is available to listen and support you. If your troubles are more serious than a good talk can help, we have an excellent Counseling Center Check out Counseling at Otterbein for more information.
Do you think you might be called to ministry? Come to the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life and talk with the chaplain about discerning this call. The Chaplain is available to discuss and help you examine career options associated with the church, and will help you connect with representatives from seminaries and other theological schools.