New Library Focuses on Spiritual Resources

Walla Walla University’s chaplain office, wellness center and student association created a free library filled with a variety of books focused on supporting spirituality. The library is open to all students and staff and works on an honor-system: you may take any book at any time and return it when you are finished.

The idea to open a student-organized library stemmed from an annual event hosted by the Associated Students of Walla Walla University which allowed students to take home a devotional book. Mitchell Powers, a junior theology major and ASWWU spiritual vice president, explained that the dorm chaplains wanted to create a more lasting opportunity for students to foster their spiritual growth through reading. Although students have access to the Peterson Memorial Library, most of those books are academic in nature.

The new library opened on February 24 with more than 115 books. Anja Sandholm, sophomore biochemistry major, said, “This project is important to me because it centers God in a place where we can be reminded to take a break and focus on what is truly important.”

Not all books are strictly devotional. The shelves hold philosophy books, books discussing physical and mental health and a copy of “So You Want to Talk About Race,” the library’s most popular book so far. These books were chosen through polls so, as Powers explained, “They hit the matters that students care about.” 

Powers said, “I know some people are going to say, ‘Well, if you have a book, and it’s not about the Bible, is it really spiritual?’ But we cannot separate the body and the spirit, and if we do, it’s not a Christian idea. The body, the mind, philosophy — we have to learn about all these different things because they do play a factor towards spirituality. Really, every book here, if someone grabs it, would benefit their spiritual lives and make them think deeper.” 

To learn about other spiritual resources available to Walla Walla University students, visit

Featured in: May/June 2022