Embracing the school’s religious diversity, spiritual leaders of varying faiths gathered at Chapman University on Friday to consecrate the ground for a planned campus all-faith chapel.
Chapman President James L. Doti said the chapel will support the school’s goal of promoting tolerance, ethical decision-making and diversity.
“During these days when we bear witness to the divisiveness, the Balkanization and the separatism that breeds hatred, intolerance and bloodshed, we know there is another way,” he said.
The event was met by a quiet demonstration by several dozen students, who said an all-faith chapel is contrary to the university’s Christian roots.
“We want to return the university to its Christian values and ensure the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said student Joey Rozek.
Chapman was established in 1861 as Hesperian College. It later merged with California Christian College.
The school was renamed in 1934 in recognition of benefactor C.C. Chapman.
The chapel will be used for religious services and will be open to followers of any religion.
Construction on the 6,800-square-foot chapel is scheduled to begin in the fall and should be complete by late 1999.
The entire project will cost $4.5 million.