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Spiritual Life

Welcome on behalf of the Chaplain and the Interfaith Council.

When Salem began in 1772, the vision for this wonderful institution was based upon faith. The Moravian Sisters were women of faith who felt compelled to act based upon God’s work in their lives. As an institution related to the Moravian Church, Salem places emphasis on religious values and creating an atmosphere where ethical questions and answers may develop on both institutional and personal levels. Salem believes that the examination of religious values should be encouraged in your college years and that instructional guidance should reflect ethical maturity in the faculty. In keeping with the traditions of a church-related college, Salem offers you the opportunity to participate in the academic study of religion as an integral part of the curriculum.

The churches and temples of Winston-Salem and the denominational ministers assigned to the colleges in the community encourage you to participate in local church life and denominational programs. Also, these campus ministers work with the Chaplain's Office to create a diverse and broad scope of spiritual opportunities for Salem.

The Facts about Moravians

The Moravian Church was established in 1457 by some followers of Jan Hus, a reformer who was martyred in 1415.  The church flourished and grew rapidly in its early years in Bohemia and Moravia (now the Czech Republic), but almost died out under persecution following the Thirty Years War. In 1722 a Saxon nobleman, Count Nicholas Von Zinzendorf, allowed some members of the church to take refuge on his estate, along with others suffering religious persecution. This community became united through a spiritual renewal in 1727 and soon they embarked on a mission to spread the message of Christian simplicity through a personal relationship with Christ throughout the world.

Today there are about 800,000 Moravians worldwide, the large majority of them in Tanzania and South Africa. More information is available on the website of the Moravian Church in America.

What’s special about a Moravian School like Salem?

Salem is one of many Moravian schools on five continents. To a significant degree the existence and nature of these schools are due to the influence of two early Moravian leaders.  Jan Hus was a priest and university professor who believed that all people should be able to read the Christian Scriptures and hear them taught in their native languages.  Jan Amos Comenius, a bishop of the church in the 16th century, is known as a great educational reformer and sometimes called “the father of modern education.” He is most well known for introducing the concept of pictures as a learning tool for children’s books. 

The Moravian Church sees its mission as one that is relevant to everyday life. It seeks to minister to the whole person and addresses spiritual, social, physical and economic needs. An essential part of this total ministry has always been education. Thus for centuries the Moravian Church has established places of learning as part of its overall ministry.

In attending Salem, you become a part of a tradition of education that stretches around the world—from Winston-Salem to the Caribbean, Central America, South Africa, Tanzania, Germany, Nepal, and many other places throughout the world.

About the Office of Spiritual Life

Our office is located at the Church Street entrance of Clewell Hall. The chaplain, Rev. Amy Rio-Anderson, can be reached for an appointment at 917-5087 or you may email her at amy.rio-anderson@salem.edu.

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