Campus Ministries

Presbyterian Heritage

Tusculum University takes seriously its heritage as a daughter of the Presbyterian Church. We have covenants in place with the Presbytery of East Tennessee, Holston Presbytery and the Synod of Living Waters. Our Religious Life and Covenants Committee meets at least once a semester to ensure implementation of the covenants and promote formation of strong Christian character among students.

Annual Theme

Each year, Tusculum University adopts a biblical theme that guides us throughout the year and motivates us to pursue a life that honors God and blesses others. Our theme for 2023-2024 is “Called for a Purpose” which comes from Isaiah 42:6.


Voluntary chapel services take place in The Pioneer Perk Mondays from 3:30-4:00 p.m. when classes are in session. Typically, we have music, prayer and a brief message. Each semester, we have a different theme for the chapel messages, and feature speakers from across campus and throughout the community. 


For more than 30 years, Tusculum University has given people in East Tennessee an opportunity to hear presentations from experts in the fields of biblical studies, theology and religious history. These presentations take place on Fridays in February, and attendees are eligible for a free lunch in the cafeteria following each lecture. The speaker for next year’s series will be Emily Morrell. She will be speaking on religion in Appalachia. 

Holy Week

In the week leading to Easter, Tusculum offers daily services that help students, faculty and staff prepare to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. In addition to speakers, we observe the Stations of the Cross in a special walk through campus.

Holy Week 2023 Schedule:

  • Monday: special music – Benita Bare; message – Dr. Chris Shumate
  • Tuesday: special music – Mike Joy; message – Kollynn Hurst, student pastor at Towering Oaks Baptist Church
  • Wednesday: special music – David Bowlin; essage – Brad Egan, pastoral intern at Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • Thursday: Stations of the Cross with the Rev. Dr. Ken Saunders, rector of St. James Episcopal Church

All services, except for the Stations of the Cross, take place in The Pioneer Perk. Stations of the Cross begin at Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center and process throughout campus. 


Spiritual Opportunities

Mondays: Voluntary chapel sessions in The Pioneer Perk and Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the Meen Center lecture hall, both on campus
Tuesdays: Arrowhead Church C+YA (College & Young Adults) in the Meen Center lecture hall on campus and PILLAR Young Adult Ministry at First Christian Church in Greeneville

Thursdays: Breaking Bread ministry in the Meen Center on campus and SPOT at Tusculum Baptist Church
Sundays: Service by Thrive Church in the Meen Center

Students are welcome to attend the church of their choosing and work with our campus minister to create any other ministry or programmatic opportunities.


Guest Speakers

Dr. Yosef “Yossi” Garfinkel a professor of archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, spoke at Tusculum on November 7, 2022, about the excavation work taking place at Tel Lachish in Israel in search of Iron Age fortifications. To watch the video of the presentation, click the button below.

Video Link

Campus Ministries

Tusculum University provides a caring Christian environment for everyone on campus. We are proud of our strong Presbyterian heritage and committed to helping students grow not only academically but also spiritually.

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In addition to voluntary weekly chapel services and campus organizations like Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Breaking Bread, we also host periodic presentations, worship nights and other events to encourage spiritual development.

We welcome opportunities to partner with area churches and provide opportunities for them to minister on our campus. Churches “adopt” our athletic teams and support them throughout their season and beyond. Many churches come to help our new students on move-in day. A few churches even host regular worship services and Bible studies on campus. To keep up with these events check out our Facebook page.

If you would like to make a financial donation for campus ministries at Tusculum, click the orange GIVE button at the top of the page and select ‘Campus Ministries’ from the drop down menu.

Campus Minister Chris Shumate, Niswonger Commons 405, 423-636-7316 ext. 5316

Kevin Watson

Student Testimonial 

“Tusculum University provides many opportunities for students to grow and strengthen their faith. Tusculum’s religious courses brought my faith to life. I now know what Christianity is truly about and what being a Christian truly means. Tusculum has given me the tools I needed to test and define my faith. As a student, I am grateful that Tusculum provides events such as chapel services and worship nights.”


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Campus Ministries provides opportunities for students, faculty and staff to explore their faith in greater depth and participate in multiple programs that enable them to grow in their faith. Tusculum family members who are struggling with their faith or have no faith still receive support and are encouraged to share challenges they face with the campus minister.

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By participating in the many available Campus Ministries programs, students, faculty and staff grow in their faith, build their character and discover their purpose and calling.