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Spiritual and Religious Life at WPU

William Peace University is an independent institution with a long history of serving students’ academic and spiritual needs. Today that means different things for different students.

WPU welcomes students of all faiths. Our goal is to provide a space where students can explore and deepen their spiritual and religious beliefs, practices, and traditions in a supportive and inclusive community. While spirituality and religion are vital components of a well-rounded education and personal growth, not every student who attends WPU is affiliated with religion.

What does it mean to be affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA)?

William Peace University is related to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is a member of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU). The University also maintains its local ties to the First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh, where the head minister of that congregation has an ex-officio seat on the University’s Board of Trustees.

Are students required to attend chapel/church services or take religion class?
No, students are not required to attend chapel or take a religion class. The University offers several religion courses open to any major, and the University Chaplain can assist students seeking a place of worship in the greater Raleigh area.


  • WPU offers a variety of programs and resources to help students explore their spiritual and religious beliefs, including worship services, meditation, and mindfulness sessions, interfaith discussions and events, spiritual retreats, and service opportunities.
  • WPU currently has two faith-based clubs on campus that students can connect with, Peace Ministries and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
  • Our University Chaplain is always available for pastoral care, counseling, and guidance.

Dinwiddie Chapel at WPUOne of our core values as an institution is a commitment to the community. By providing opportunities for service and volunteerism, students feel more connected to a larger purpose or mission, which can help support their spiritual growth. We work closely with local faith communities to connect students with resources and support outside of campus.

Our commitment to spiritual and religious life is an essential part of our commitment to holistic education. We encourage all students to engage with our programs and resources to enrich their personal growth and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world around them. We believe in creating a sense of community on campus to help alleviate feelings of loneliness or isolation, which can be detrimental to one’s spiritual well-being.

We look forward to connecting with you on your spiritual and religious journey.

About our Chaplain

Dr. Harold Dorrell Briscoe is the William C. Bennett University Chaplain. He is a writer, speaker, pastor, and public theologian. He focuses on the intersectionality of race, religion, law, and power. Dr. Briscoe is married to Tracy, and a father to Luke, Noah, Amelia Hope, and Ella Grace.

He is a 2007 graduate of the University of North Florida, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. He is a 2009 graduate of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. There he earned a master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration on Urban Planning. Dorrell worked in local and state government for five years, across Florida, Texas, and Louisiana.

Dorrell also taught at the university level as an adjunct professor teaching public administration, management, and leadership to undergraduate students. While teaching, Dorrell pursued and was awarded a master’s degree in Theological Studies at Liberty University in 2015. Dorrell finished his Doctor of Ministry degree at Duke University in 2017. He has a strong passion for the local church, politics, racial justice, equality and international affairs.

He is the founder and Lead Pastor of The Six:Eight Church in Durham, North Carolina. Six:Eight’s vision is to build a gospel community that is intentionally diverse, cross-cultural and neighborhood-centered by engaging and developing ministries in Downtown Durham and the Hayti Community. He is also the University Chaplain and an Adjunct Professor at William Peace University in downtown Raleigh teaching, public policy, religion, and history.

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