Church Relations

Virginia Wesleyan College was founded by the Virginia Annual Conference of The Methodist Church and chartered in 1961.

We continually seek to strengthen the relationship between the College and the Church in order to maintain that strong historical connection to a ministry in higher education.

The College fulfills this mission in a variety of ways:


  • The Presiding Bishop of the Virginia Conference and three area district superintendents serve as ex-officio members of the Board of Trustees.
  • The College's Board of Trustees includes members of the United Methodist Church.
  • The College has a full-time Chaplain who is an ordained Methodist pastor who serves students, faculty, and staff.


  • More than 60 graduates serve as pastors in United Methodist churches in the Virginia Annual Conference.
  • Another 40 alumni clergy serve in other annual conferences or denominations


  • The College sponsors an annual Continuing Education Seminar for clergy and laity each spring.
  • The annual Wesleyan Lectures brings prominent theologians and academicians to campus to speak on issues of faith.
  • The College hosts conference and district events which have included Awakening, the annual Virginia Conference youth gathering, and the Tri-District Leadership Workshop which brings local church leaders to campus for an all-day training session.

Spiritual Growth/Ethics

  • A United Methodist Chaplain supports the members of the College community in their spiritual journey through personal interaction and a variety of programs.
  • The College is recognized for programs in academic honesty and spiritual growth in The Templeton Guide: Colleges That Encourage Character Development.

Community Service

  • Established through the Birdsong Endowment for Community Service, this office engages students in volunteer experiences addressing community needs while enriching students' lives.
  • Projects have included: Alternative Spring Break trips, Habitat for Humanity builds, and Potato Drops through the Society of St. Andrew.

Financial Aid

  • Virginia United Methodist students entering full-time Christian service in the Virginia Conference receive up to one-half tuition assistance.
  • Dependent sons, daughters and spouses of Virginia conference clergy receive up to one-half tuition.
  • Virginia Wesleyan College Dollars for United Methodist Scholars provides a $1,000 VWC matching scholarship when a Virginia Conference student's home church contributes $1,000 in tuition assistance to the student.


  • Center for the Study of Religious Freedom is an academic initiative that promotes the education and foundation needed to meet the challenge of fostering religious freedom in a diverse world. The Center offers a forum for people of deep faith and abiding conscience to share common goals that transcend denominational boundaries—a place where students, faculty and people of all faiths join together to forge a common ground of mutual concern, working to achieve civil solutions to difficult problems.
  • Center for Sacred Music offers performance opportunities and educational programs designed to foster understanding and to encourage an appreciation of diversity and excellence in the sacred arts. The Church Music Certificate Program offers courses at the undergraduate level (also offered for Continuing Education Units) to prepare students for service in church music ministry, or enhance the skills of adults working in the profession.