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blueberry_kid's avatar

What is the significance of a Wesleyan school?

Asked by blueberry_kid (5952points) March 29th, 2015

I’ve gotten so many letters from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio Wesleyan University, and I have no idea what it means.

Is it religious? Does the Wesleyan part of the Universities mean anything?

My mother doesn’t know either, and the internet isn’t being very helpful in explaining it.

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10 Answers

janbb's avatar

John Wesley was the founder of Methodism so I assume these universities were originally associated with the Methodists. Their individual web sites should indicated whether they have any current affiliation with a church.

ibstubro's avatar

I would advise you to visit the individual school’s website and pay particular attention to the “About” and “Mission Statement” pages.

As an example, I opened the site for my local Baptist University and clicked on the “About” page. There were no less (probably more) than 17 references to Christianity. I believe that is meant as a red-flag to non-Christians.

Google “Wesleyan universities” and you can see from the results:
Indiana Wesleyan University | Christian College
Texas & Nebraska Wesleyan are Methodist
Indiana Wesleyan University is a Christian institution
Southern Wesleyan in S. Carolina is Christian

Wesleyan University College in Middletown, Connecticut looks awesome
Illinois Wesleyan University has a Mission for diversity.

Do a little research. It’s a HUGE decision and you want to make a choice that fits you.

Darth_Algar's avatar

As others have noted “Wesleyan” means that there is, or at least has been, a strong association with Methodism.

jaytkay's avatar

Many (maybe most) private colleges in the US were founded as church schools.

Some maintain a strong church affiliation, some don’t.

For example, in my area, Northwestern University was founded as a Methodist school but few people know that. The Catholic universities, Depaul and Loyola, are definitely linked to the church.

I know a couple of Wesleyan University (Connecticut) students, and Methodism is not any part of their education. One is Jewish, I don’t know the other’s background.

janbb's avatar

@jaytkay Yes, Wssleyan in Connecticut has no religious affiliation now and is very liberal in actuality.

gailcalled's avatar

My Jewish son (with Quaker leanings) graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Ct. It was socially progressive, intellectually rigorous and filled with individuals. (Traditionally considered part of the three small Ivies, including Amherst and Williams Colleges.)

janbb's avatar

So – I think the answer is that they all had ties to Methodism originally but may not at all now. As @ibstubro says, do your research.

Judi's avatar

Methodists are less “In your face” than a lot of Christians, so you would probably get a pretty well rounded education there and acceptance if you didn’t adhere to their beliefs. They are considered a “Mainline” denomination and are not affiliated with the wacko fundamentalist sects of Christianity.
I love that George Lucas is the first on this list of famous Methodists.

blueberry_kid's avatar

To clarify, it’s not like a community college type of thing? Or like a DeVry University kind of thing? I don’t have anything against those types of schools, I’m just trying to fully grasp if these schools have something in common other than religious affiliations.

jaytkay's avatar

No, the Wesleyans are not affiliated with each other.

The schools use the name Wesleyan because they were founded by Methodists. But they are not connected otherwise.

The ones I know are not very religious today, and I think @ibstubro gave great advice – read the schools’ “About” pages to see what they emphasize.

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