Pacific’s Methodist Requirements

Pacific’s Methodist Requirements

University of the Pacific after being established in 1851, wanted more than just to be a great school, Rev. Darrell Thomas, Director of Church Relations, wanted the school to qualify as a methodist related school. To be able to qualify a team from the United Methodist Church’s University Senate, examines the school in four different areas, institutional integrity, program quality, financial health and administrative effectiveness, and church relatedness.

But it didn’t stop there for Pacific, once it was established in Stockton, the University wanted to increase the number of Methodist students and Methodist studies in Pacific. From the Board of Education College of the Pacific, Tully C. Knoles, writes “Plans are being perfected for the increase of the department of Religious Education and Philosophy, and also for the building of an adequate Chapel for the sole use of the worship services of the College as soon as funds may be secured for the latter.”(Journal of California Annual Conference 1940).

Noticed this was before they build the Morris Chapel. Another important document, I found on the Journal of the California Annual Conference, from the Pacific School of Religion, C.M. McCown, quotes “The number of Methodist Students in the school has been the largest in its history and the largest of any denomination. This has been possible through the cooperation of the districts superintendents  and the churches making use of students as part-time pastors.”(Journal of California Annual Conference 1940).

Pacific became one of the largest methodist school, and religion on the Campus was going so great, their Christian Community Administration program became a significant program at the University. So much that the Pacific decided to establish requirements of Bible units for graduation, two units in the Old Testament and two units in New Testament. But Pacific did not inform all of their students, while a visit from the United Methodist Church committee they discover that not all students were aware of this requirement that is needed to graduate. Pacific wanted to enforced these religious rules on all students, even if the student’s major had nothing to do with religion. Now to think that they had enforced this rule, it will make you think that maybe they got rid of it soon, or students stood up but no, Pacific was recognized for their enforcement of religion into students.

In an Lay Representative’s Manual Church Council, in May 1965, they went on to explaining why the University of the Pacific, is a methodist school. One of the reasons explain in the council was that every president of the University since its founding has been Methodist, either an ordained minister or a lay preacher. This comes to show how they really wanted to stay true to this methodist ways. Another big reason why the council saw the University as methodist was the students requiring to complete courses in Old and New Testament in order to qualify for Graduation, they even go on to say this was a fundamental aspect in the University curriculum to serve interest of the church. But one of the more surprising facts I found, during this time sons and daughters of Methodist ministers who enroll in the University receive one-half rebate for tuition, which amounted to a significant annual financial grant. Now think about this if your son or daughter wanted to go to this school and were not Methodist, they were forced to learn this religion to graduate and you had to pay the whole tuition fee, while the children of Methodist ministers, earned this one-half rebate, to me this seems to be unfair and unjust to all of the other students.  

After cutting ties with the Methodist church, in 2012 the United Methodist Church reaffirmed Pacific’s Methodist accreditation, and today their bond manifests itself in several ways, with the Bishop’s scholarship, given to a student who is an active member of the United Methodist Church. Also each year, one Pacific faculty member is recognized for their dedication to teacher and their contributions to campus life, this award is known as the United Methodist University Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award.

Link to Timeline:  Religion in UOP

Link to Bibliography: Bibliography

Link to Credit: Credit