Image Credit: Chris Drake

The Ultimate Outdoor Church

Students flooded back onto campus on Sept. 26, 2022, to begin a new school year at Walla Walla University. Many of the opening events were held at a new location on campus — the outdoor stage.

Centered on Centennial Green, this temporary stage was initially envisioned in the fall of 2021 as a way to allow socially distanced events and worships. Again this fall, teams from across campus collaborated to construct a four-sided stage surrounded by seating that accommodates 1,500 people. This outdoor cathedral includes a sound system, lights, chairs and an elevated stage all assembled underneath large trees just beginning to turn red and gold. "The stage is impressive in its youthful vibe," said John McVay, WWU president. "It just feels fun."

Events such as Friday evening vespers, Mosaic Church, CommUnity and week of worship all meet in this impressive space. Speakers and student musicians join in offering inspiration and sparking insight, conviction, engagement and community. Exceptional education at WWU begins in this close-knit community with an integration of faith and learning. Finding a new space to draw together, hundreds of students assemble to discover, pray and lift songs of praise to our returning King under the canopy of the star-filled night sky.

Featured in: November/December 2022