Last week, Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor strengthened Whitworth’s relationship with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by entering into formal partnerships with the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU), the North Puget Sound Presbytery, and the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest. All three entities are a part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
In April, Whitworth’s board of trustees agreed to affirm and expand Whitworth’s historic relationship with the Presbyterian church and to elevate the university’s core theological identities. These three functional partnerships signed last week are Whitworth’s first commitments to be formalized with the church since the board’s decision, and they affirm Whitworth’s historic connections to the mainline Presbyterian denomination.
“These partnerships detail important and practical ways that Whitworth and the churches within the presbyteries, and other Presbyterian-related institutions of higher learning, will support one another going forward in ministry and collaboration,” Taylor says.
By signing the agreements, Taylor has committed the university to support the PC(U.S.A.)hurch in specific ways that deepen the partnership between the university and the church. This will include placing students in church-related internships, and exploring other ways in which the university’s resources will help support and strengthen the ministries of Presbyterian congregations in the region.
“These agreements anchor Whitworth to the church, which is important for our mission and identity,” Taylor says. “I anticipate that other similar agreements will be signed in the future with additional Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) entities, as well as with other more broadly Presbyterian bodies outside the PC (USA), consistent with the board’s direction.”
Whitworth’s Dean of Spiritual Life Terry McGonigal says that Presbyterian churches in the region have been a tremendous source of support for Whitworth over many decades; he is excited to deepen that relationship by entering into more clearly defined, functional partnerships.
“These partnerships will expand the possibilities for students to be involved in a church during their time at Whitworth,” McGonigal says. “These churches can become a ‘spiritual home’ for students where they can be welcomed, supported and nurtured in the growth of their Christian faith.”
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the PC(USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.