Trevecca Nazarene University’s Labyrinth

This is the prayer labyrinth at Trevecca Nazarene University.  We put this photo of it here because the web page at the university’s website is gone.  All references to the labyrinth and the photos are also gone.  It was removed per order of Dr. Dan Boone, President of Trevecca, after several exchanges he and I had via email regarding the school’s promotion of contemplative spirituaity practices, including going on a retreat to the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.

To our knowledge, the school has not renounced the use of the labyrinth, in spite of removing any references to it from their website.

Here is Dr. Boone’s explanation of why he had it removed from the website.  The full exchange can be read at this link: Conversation With A University President

“Leading up to revival, we always create a prayer room where our students can prepare themselves for revival. There are 5 prayer stations. At the first one, students read and meditate on the Psalm, “search me and know my heart, try me and know my ways….” At the second station, they pray for the entire campus to be open to the preaching of the word. At the third station, they pray for lost friends on the campus to be saved during the meeting. At the fourth station, they pray for our chaplain, the musicians, and the evangelist. And at the fifth station, they pray for their family and church back home. Two years ago we called this a prayer labyrinth. This identification bothered some people because of the association with pagan labyrinths. So we stopped calling it that.”

That is Dr. Boone’s explanation.  my question is, what difference does it make? Your students are still doing it.

7 responses to “Trevecca Nazarene University’s Labyrinth

  1. I am waiting to hear from one of the local Nazarene Ministers who has expressed his desire to offer an opinion. When I receive his opinion, I will be writing (or hosting) an opionion editorial on the issue.

    Look for it on Richmond Evangelical Examiner.

  2. As a current Trevecca student, I just wanted to add that I, personally, greatly appreciate the Prayer Walk. For me, it provides a very needed chance to quiet myself with God and listen to His voice. Utilizing various things the Church has used for years (ie: lighting candles) reminds me of the great “cloud of witnesses” before us….there’s so much more to following Jesus than just this generation!

    I understand that you disagree with this, and that’s okay; you’re entitled to your opinion. But I just wanted to let you know that I really do find this practice to be drawing me closer to Christ.

    Thank you all for your concerns, and I pray that God will guide you just as He’s guiding me!

    I’m not looking for an argument, so I’m not going to post anymore, but I just wanted to let you guys know about the GREAT things that God is doing here at Trevecca.

  3. Thank you, Grateful Student,
    I won’t try to argue with you either. I appreciate your comments. All I ask is that you continue to prayerfully consider all that I have written here on this blog in the light of scripture only, and what the Lord commands us to do.

  4. The setup for the rift and slide into apostasy which Nazarenes are now fighting (or succombing to, depending on the degree of biblical illiteracy) was going on long ago. My studies at TNC (before the U) in the early to mid 80’s included general ed religion courses which focused on Moltmann, Tillich and Barth (liberalism and neo-orthodoxy, which relies on existentialism) — not as comparative, but as indoctrination — by at least one liberal professor. The chaplain who presided at the time introduced us to Richard Foster and “the disciplines” which would give us a higher experience. Tony Campolo was a special speaker at the time who did his famous cursing from the pulpit just to show us how hypocritical we were — right there in what used to be College Hill CotN. Honestly, while I did learn SOME great Biblical truths from some doctrinally-solid lectures; but the overall indoctrination into an experience-based, liberalism-tinged, spiritual formation mindset did a great deal damage to me for many years. I don’t blame the Nazarene church for MY faithlessness — but a Nazarene education, sure didn’t help. FCofN in Nashville has been under the teaching of a solid, Biblical teacher for years. That’s the only Nazarene church in my greater area I could ever recommend. I have now found solid teaching and a high respect for God’s word and the foundational Christian doctrines in LCMS. It’s not what you’re used to if you come from ANY evangelical church. But if you want law preached LAWFULLY and the Gospel for the repentance and forgiveness of sins in Christ ALONE, then I reccomend it for those who hunger to be fed God’s scripture alone.

  5. When first heard of these prayer labyrinths I was told they would be instructed to open their minds and to clear their thoughts,that I did have a problem with because that is a New Age thing. That is very dangerous it can allow demoninc influence you.
    I don’t have issue with a prayer room focusing on God’s word and prayer points. College student have many things pulling their attention off God that having a quiet area and directing them to meditate on the word of God.
    Maybe I missing the the apostasy. Could you explain?

  6. I was a student at TNC 1974-78 and we prayed in our dorms and in church and in Sunday School . We had no problem praying in a field or walking on campus. The Reed Tower would be perfect today to be near. I do not like the labyrinths because the look of pagan ritualistic influence. Why would you resort so low? We have been shown the holiness way- stick to that! Or is it too old-fashioned? Janice Reaves

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