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The Carroll University Mission Statement refers to our
"Presbyterian heritage" and Christian tradition".

Chartered in 1846 without specific denominational connections, Carroll became related in 1850 to what is now the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (PCUSA) Following the lead of the 16th century reformer John Calvin, the PCUSA, a Christian religious tradition, affirms the importance of education.

Carroll’s interest in education for the whole person includes paying attention to spiritual growth. Questions such as “Where did we come from?”, “Is there life after life?”, and “What is meaningful for us in the mean time?” all include dimensions of spirituality. “How do we get along with others?” “What is our place in the community and in the world?” “What might my own spiritual growth look like?” Our responses to questions such as these contribute to our personal identity. At Carroll we pay attention to these questions through explicitly religious events as well as through volunteer and service learning opportunities.

The chaplain serves the Carroll community to provide a spiritual presence and program leadership. With the goals of nurturing spiritual awareness, building community and encouraging service to others, the chaplain is available to students, faculty, staff, neighbors and alumni. The Nelson Vance Russell Meditation Chapel and the Humphrey Memorial Chapel serve the community for private, small group and larger gatherings for prayer, meditation, study and worship.

For more about the Presbyterian (PCUSA) connections, you might link to the following for the denomination:
and for the regional synod of these north central United States:
and for this area presbytery of southeastern Wisconsin, the Presbytery of Milwaukee:
and/or explore or "like" us on facebook: Carroll University Spiritual Life.

Several Carroll student organizations are explicitly religious. Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship meets each week of the fall and spring semesters, usually in the Humphrey Memorial Chapel or the Stackner Ballroom on Thursday evenings at 8:00 PM. This gathering includes a worship time for prayer and praise, usually a speaker and often social activities. IVCF also sponsors Bible Study opportunities around the campus and throughout the week. IVCF is open to all students.

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes meets in the Van Male Field House on Wednesday evenings for conversation, prayer, and often, a competitive social event. FCA is open to all students.

Other student organizations are involved in community service activities which are, for many students who may or may not call it this, faith-related activities.  Among the groups: Circle K, Habitat for Humanity, the Social Justice League, CARAS, QandA, Latin American Student Organization, Black Student Union, and the social Greek fraternities and sororities.  Carroll Student organizations, including Student Senate, engage in community service and/or philanthropic activities each semester.

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 Humphrey Memorial Chapel


     The Humphrey Memorial Chapel and Art Center building was dedicated in May 1996 in memory of Glenn L. and Gertrude Humphrey, members of the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee.

  The chapel seats up to 180 in flexible seating, and features a five-foot grand piano and

custom-designed chancel furniture. The pulpit, communion table and three side tables were funded in large part as a memorial to the Rev. Robert Buzza, longtime Waukesha Presbyterian minister and formerly Carroll chaplain and Dean of Students.

Nelson Vance Russell Meditation Chapel
The Nelson Vance Russell meditation chapel is located on the south end of the hallway behind the Shattuck auditorium balcony, accessible by stairways and an elevator. The chapel seats 18, is available for individual quiet times and small group events, including weddings. A significant feature of this chapel is the stained glass window which also faces the Main Hall lawn and serves as a visual reminder of Carroll’s faith based commitments to intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth and community service.
- Community Churches    click on this link for a list of Waukesha area faith communities by religion and denomination, and a few in the larger Milwaukee area.

Rev. Elizabeth P. McCord

The Rev. Elizabeth P. McCord - Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life
Rev. McCord joined the Carroll University staff on August 1, 2016. She spent the past 10 years serving in ministry, most recently as associate dean for vocations at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, where she completed her master of divinity degree. After completing her graduate work in 2006, Rev. McCord served as a clinical pastoral education resident at the John Muir Medical Center in Concord, California, and as a Christian educator at San Geronimo Community Presbyterian Church. She was ordained by the Golden Gate Association of the United Church of Christ in January 2012.

Community Engagement is undeniably connected to Carroll University's mission and the Four Pillars of its educational philosophy's - integrated knowledge, lifelong skills, enduring values and gateway experiences. Carroll seeks not only to provide students with a high quality academic experience, but to allow students to develop and define their values and practices, and to nurture the whole person. Community involvement provides unique learning environments, practical experience for future employment or graduate school, a connection to the community as a whole, and many ways to give back to others.

Ways to get involved in the community

Service Learning
Service Learning is a teaching method and learning process that combines academic learning with community service. Courses and experiences are designed for the mutual benefit of the students and community partners. Courses at Carroll with a Service Learning component range from history to English to business to exercise science.

There are numerous one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups and student organizations. The Carroll University Volunteer Center maintains partnerships with more than 30 community organizations, many within walking distance of campus, and will work with you to create a meaningful, enriching opportunity to fit your unique interests and talents.

Community Outreach
Community Outreach at Carroll refers to both bringing community groups to Carroll and sending Carroll students, faculty and staff out into the community to provide non-credit educational and enrichment activities. Carroll provides classes for children and adults, a college prep program for high school students, and a mentorship program for middle and high school students.

Community Service
Community service at Carroll is defined through the Campus Employment Program as services designed to improve the quality of life for community residents at local nonprofit, government and community-based organizations. Eligible students are placed in paid community service positions.

             Every year Carroll graduates volunteer their time serving their University, their community and their world, an attribute instilled in them as students that they carry with them throughout their lives. Whether near or far from campus, Alumni/ae mentor students, speak in classrooms, serve on advisory councils; they volunteer at their local food pantry in their churches and throughout their communities; they travel to participate in disaster relief and mission efforts throughout the US and abroad. For more information on Carroll based alumni/ae efforts, tips on how to get involved in your own community or to seek volunteers for your organization, visit

Spiritual Life
Many religious traditions connect spiritual beliefs with real-life love and care for others. Love for God and for our neighbors leads us to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." For some, spiritual awareness and growth lead us to strive to do good deeds; for some, doing good deeds reminds us of spiritual realities such as our mutual interdependence and our place in the larger world. At Carroll, we grow in faith and service through our various expressions of community engagement.

Rev. Elizabeth McCord is available at/through her office in the Student Involvement Center on the first floor of Kilgour Hall.  The phone number there is 262.524.7336.  On campus, that's extension 7336.  Her preferred, most reliable contact is by e-mail:

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