Spiritual Life

Carroll University is more than a place to earn your degree. It’s also a community where you’ll grow as a person. Through weekly programs, retreats and partnership with local faith communities, the Office of Spiritual Life and Chaplain Elizabeth McCord will help you discover a purposeful life.

“I was determined to form a new faith community at Carroll by getting involved in spiritual life.”
— Mati Ardis '19

Gather is a weekly time of Christian worship led by the Student Ministry Team
Image of Humphrey Memorial Chapel exterior
Carroll is an inter-religious campus welcoming students from a breadth of religious traditions

About the Office of Spiritual Life

Carroll University is both Presbyterian and inter-denominational, Christian and multi-faith. We’re affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and draw on our Christian heritage, but our students, faculty and staff come from a wide variety of faith traditions. The Office of Spiritual Life celebrates and supports this diversity of spiritual paths through opportunities for service, reflection, inter-religious education, annual retreats and regular faith practice. Student organizations, such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and WELS Campus Ministry, offer additional experiences for faith development and leadership on campus.

Carroll’s partnerships with external religious and nonprofit organizations enable students to extend their spiritual community. Together with these groups Carroll offers countless opportunities for learning, service and spiritual growth on campus and in the broader community.

Photo of Chaplain Elizabeth McCord

Spiritual Guide

The Rev. Elizabeth E. P. McCord serves as chaplain and director of spiritual life at Carroll University. Elizabeth is passionate about students’ spiritual development and loves creating environments in which they can seek out their greatest purpose. In addition to developing spiritual life programs for the Carroll community, Elizabeth provides pastoral care and spiritual direction to students, faculty, staff and other members of the Carroll family. She provides a spiritual presence on campus and is available to speak or teach at Carroll events or in the local community. Elizabeth is ordained in the United Church of Christ and has ministerial standing with the Presbytery of Milwaukee. 

Residency Program

The Carroll University and the Presbytery of Milwaukee are excited to announce our Chaplain Residency Partnership for the 2021-22 academic year. The Chaplain Residency is bringing Jackie Rodriguez, an emerging faith leader to our region.  Jackie will serve halftime on the Carroll University campus and halftime at with West Granville Presbyterian Church.  This partnership is made possible through the generosity of Carroll donors and the support of the Presbytery of Milwaukee.

A Vision of Partnership for the Gospel

Partnered in Leadership. The heart of the Chaplain Residency Partnership is the initiative to bring a recent seminary graduate to the Presbytery of Milwaukee who will engage in creative, committed pastoral leadership in two vital ministry settings: a local congregation and Carroll University. The resident will be employed half-time by the congregation and half-time by Carroll. They will receive supervision and mentorship from season clergy members of the Presbytery and opportunities for continuing education through Carroll. They will nurture opportunities for collaboration and innovation in both ministry settings, serving alongside each community with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.

Carroll University: A Legacy of Partnership with the Presbyterian Church

As the first four-year institution of higher education in the State of Wisconsin, Carroll University roots our mission in our Presbyterian and liberal arts heritage. Since 1850 Carroll has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, a relationship reaffirmed in our 2010 Covenant with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The University has had a long history of serving and being served by the church, and Carroll’s mission and core values reflect the educational excellence, purposeful living, and Reformed spirit expressed throughout Presbyterian culture. 
Carroll University’s Strategic Plan, Pioneer Driven, charts an ambitious and dynamic course forward, one characterized by innovation and entrepreneurship and fueled by the dedication and drive of today’s Pioneers. As part of Pioneer Driven, the Chaplain Residency Partnership will celebrate our Presbyterian heritage and enhance our core mission: to provide a superior education, rooted in its Presbyterian and liberal arts heritage, and draws upon its Christian tradition to prepare all students for vocational success, lifelong learning and service in a diverse and global society.

Jackie Rodriguez
Jackie Rodriguez is from Maitland, Florida - just outside of Orlando. She has her B.A. in Government from Hamilton College and her M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Jackie is passionate about talking to people of all ages about life and faith, all while encouraging peoples' hearts along whatever walks they are on. She is currently a candidate for ordination as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA. So far, Jackie's ministry has brought her to institutions (churches and beyond) in England, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. She is excited to now venture to Wisconsin for the year to serve at Carroll University and West Granville Presbyterian Church!

Prayers and Reflections

open hands

The Covenants We Carry


Our human covenants are dependent on God’s covenant with us. God has promised to be with us come what may – in wealth or want, joy or sorrow, sickness or health – for all our days.

open hands

The Lessons Gert Left Us


An essay by the Rev. Elizabeth McCord reflecting on the life and legacy of Gert Ullsperger.


girl with bible and candles


Everyone worships in their own way, and Carroll is dedicated to providing flexible spaces that accommodate all of those practices. Learn more about our spiritual spaces below. 

Photographic of Carroll University Chapel

Humphrey Memorial Chapel

This large space is used for worship and spiritual engagement. Sunday afternoons students come to Gather at Humphrey for music, reflection and community. It’s also used for spiritual life led meditation and contemplation programming, special seasonal worship services, and for religiously-affiliated student group events.

meditation chapel room

Meditation Chapel

The Nelson Vance Russell Meditation Chapel in Shattuck Music Center features a cross, candles and prayer books from the Christian tradition and is available for private or small group use.


Prayer Room

The Prayer Room on the lower level of the Campus Center is symbol-free to be welcoming to students from any faith tradition and is available for individual use.

Interreligious Welcome and Support

Carroll University supports the holistic spiritual development of every student. Here, you will have opportunities to practice your own tradition while also learning about the breadth of religious practices and expressions. Carroll offers a variety of resources and accommodations to enable you to maintain your religious heritage and deepen your spirituality.   

Absences for Religious Observances. The Office of Spiritual Life promotes holidays from many major religious traditions and provides resources for students’ religious observance. Classes are not in session during most major Christian holidays, including Good Friday. Students whose traditions require absences during regular class times should contact their professors within the first two weeks of each semester. Students are still responsible for any missed classwork, and professors will provide arrangements for missed assignments on a case-by-case basis. Similarly, students missing campus work, athletic activities or other campus commitments should notify their supervisor, coach or advisor well in advance. Students needing assistance in addressing questions regarding religious absences may contact chaplain@carrollu.edu.    

Dietary Practices. Carroll’s various dining venues offer a range of meal options and dining hours. Choose a vegetarian diet with alternative protein sources at the G8 station in the Main Dining Room or grab a late-night meal from the Pioneer Indoor Terrace to manage fasting hours. Students who observe other dietary practices, such as kosher or halal diets, are encouraged to contact dining@carrollu.edu to discuss dining options. When our dining services are unable to meet specific religious dietary needs, students may request housing with kitchens where they can prepare their own meals.    

Housing Accommodations. Carroll’s residential housing is a welcoming environment where students from a range of religious traditions live and observe their own spiritual practices. On rare occasions, students may require special housing accommodations to practice their tradition fully. Students with concerns about housing policies and religious practice should email housing@carrollu.edu for more information. 

Connecting with Your Tradition. The religious communities of our region love welcoming Carroll students for both religious practice and education. The Office of Spiritual Life will help you find a community of your own tradition, so that you can continue enriching your religious identity as a student.  

See Carroll For Yourself

Panoramic View of campus