Frequently Asked Questions
I heard that Franklin College maintains “a voluntary affiliation” with the American Baptist Churches USA. What does that mean?
Franklin College was founded in 1834 by Baptists who sought to serve by increasing educational opportunities on the American frontier. Franklin College remains in relationship with the American Baptist Churches USA and with local American Baptist congregations. The Religious Life program values many of the same things as our Baptist founders, including religious liberty, critical inquiry, and individual responsibility for spiritual growth. With these values in mind, we do not expect that all students who attend Franklin College have identical religious and spiritual values. We do, however, hope that all students, regardless of religious or nonreligious background, will take seriously the prospect of spiritual growth during their time at Franklin.
I do not come from a religious background and I’m not sure what I believe. Is the Religious Life program relevant to my college experience?
Yes! Religious Life welcomes all students, including those who may be considering their spiritual lives for the first time. You are welcome to learn about a variety of religious and nonreligious traditions through Religious Life programming. All Religious Life programs are optional and you will not be asked to participate in any activity beyond your comfort level.
I am not Christian. Is there a place for me in the Religious Life program?
Absolutely! The Religious Life program seeks to serve students of all faith and non-faith backgrounds. Students of any tradition are welcome to create and participate in tradition-specific programming, as well as to engage in the Religious Life’s many opportunities for interreligious dialogue. The campus minister is happy to assist students in making sure that dietary and ritual needs are met and to introduce students to appropriate religious communities on and off campus.
What is the relationship between Religious Life and a major or minor in Religious Studies?
Students do not need to be involved with Religious Studies to participate in the Religious Life program. However, the Religious Life program works closely with the Department of Religious Studies and seeks to support students who do engage in the academic study of religion. Students are encouraged to undertake thoughtful and critical inquiries of religious texts and traditions and to speak with the campus minister if they feel that this kind of study presents a challenge to their personal and faith lives. Religious Life can also assist students who are considering religious leadership as a career path.
What is the Religious Life Team?
The Religious Life Team is a group of students from a variety of backgrounds who provide leadership in the Religious Life program. All students are welcome to join this group, but should be committed to supporting Religious Life programming. Interested students should contact Campus Minister Leah Rumsey at LRumsey@franklincollege.edu.
What does Religious Life offer beside events and programs?
All students are welcome to make an appointment with the campus minister by e-mailing LRumsey@franklincollege.edu or by calling 317.738.8140. Students are also welcome to use space in the Richardson Chapel when it is not otherwise reserved. The sanctuary and prayer room are available for quiet prayer and meditation and the second floor lounge is a place of peace and quiet conversation. Tea is always available and students are welcome to use the space for quiet study or conversation.