Pacific Member’s Views

Pacific Member’s Views

When the institution was just starting and rules were being created there was a sense of religious actions for every decision made. This aspect/perception has changes throughout the years. Through the pacific student handbooks we get a sense of the students and faculties’ perception on the role of religion in the university.

Since the beginning the Methodist founders have implemented religious aspects throughout the University. During the years in which religion was vital in one’s life none of the students or teachers seemed to mind these religion requirements. Religion was just a regular part of their life like studying or eating. In the 1925-1926 student hand book the dean of the university stated that it was crucial to “live with the highest spiritual idealism.”  Moreover, the senior student president believed that religion is a part of why one become’s successful. Even in 1935 the religious belief and views were strong. Tully C. Knoles, president of the school said, “ do not forget that in the midst of strenuous  student life spiritual adjustments are just as necessary as academic and social” (Freshman Handbook 1935-1936). Religion was used as a source of education and an aid in their lives; most who attended the University were satisfies with all requirements and beliefs.  

Additionally, the religious influence also increased due to the fact that there were religious people and practices surrounding the students. There were students in Pacific who were in the ministry or studying for it, and there were members of the faculty that were clergymen.  For the students it was a great honor to go into a ministry or do missionary work. Furthermore, there were many club, services and practices. For examples, many students enjoyed and wanted quiet hour “many old students have received value and new students will appreciate the devotional spirit of quiet hour. Students and faculty gather for meditation and prayer”(Pacific Handbook 1925- 1926). The students were surrounded by religious views but they never felt subjugated by the religion.

As the years went on there were many movements that diminished religious requirements within institutions. By 1969 almost all religious requirements were diminished at Pacific. The students views had changed; the student vice president believed that religion should be optional. Although, requirements were eliminated yet there were religious opportunities for those interested. According to the dean of the Pacific in 1969, “‘ denominationalism has died on most college campuses, though religious interest is very high. Pacific has some denominational activity particularly among Roman Catholics and Episcopalians, both of whom sponsor regular weekly worship opportunities.’ (not a requirement but have some opportunities)” (The Handbook 1969-1970).  The students still wanted to learn about religion but it shouldn’t be forced upon them. 

From the student handbooks it seems like pacific members didn’t think that they were religiously oppressed. It was a norm in society because they grew up religious. I was not able to get different aspects from students because the only documented conversations were by believers of the Methodist faith. There were students of different faiths attending the school but  their perspective wasn’t shared or documented. However, in the end Pacific member’s ideology about religious views and requirements changed as time went on and movements occurred. Now the University has no religious requirements. Everyone is free to learn or practice the religion they want.   

Link to subsection 4  about: Pacific’s Methodist Requirements