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The Wesleyan Connection

Why have a Center for the Study of Religious Freedom at Virginia Wesleyan, a small Methodist liberal arts college? The answer is simple.

Liberal Arts Education

VWC_bell_towerReligious and cultural pluralism are prominent features of our complex and rapidly changing world. If we are to be engaged and productive citizens, we must learn to appreciate diverse perspectives and worldviews. A liberal arts education helps prepare students to do this.

At Virginia Wesleyan, the Center supports this educational goal through its interdisciplinary courses, interfaith forums, and other events.

United Methodist Heritage


Religious freedom has always been part of the Methodist tradition. The United Methodist Church recognizes religious freedom as a basic human right for persons of all faiths. The Church's social principles support the separation of church and state and strongly condemn all forms of religious intolerance.

United Methodist Church Resolution on Religious Liberty
United Methodist Church Resolution on Separation of Church and State
United Methodist Church Social Principle on Church and State Relations
United Methodist Church Social Principle on Rights of Religious Minorities

The United Methodist Church declares religious liberty, the freedom of belief, to be a basic human right. Religious liberty includes the freedom to doubt or to deny the existence of God, and to refrain from observing religious practices. We believe it is the right of a person to be allowed to follow the call of conscience when it becomes impossible to live by both the dictates of the state and the decisions of faith.- United Methodist Church Resolution on Religious Liberty

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