The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Tug o' religion

Wartburg College chapel renovation exposes underlying faith tensions

For students at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, an architectural plan and a much-forwarded e-mail message became a lightning rod last year. They ignited underlying tensions between more conservative evangelical students and their more traditional Lutheran counterparts.

The plan detailed a new interfaith reflection room to replace Danforth Chapel, which was superseded by the large Wartburg Chapel built in the early 1990s. The e-mail was a call to arms, demanding that campus Christians fight the renovation of the 40-person chapel.

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