Vandy Wesley is…
a student COMMUNITY on a spiritual JOURNEY to positively IMPACT Vanderbilt, Nashville, Middle Tennessee, and beyond.
Undergraduate students at Vanderbilt University experience a remarkable and rigorous education, world-class lectures, and extensive extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, combining these with immense study requirements doesn’t leave much time for meaningful connections with other students, and can leave students feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, and alone. Vandy Wesley Fellowship offers a break from this daily grind, a delicious meal, and a place to deeply connect with others as we explore our faith together. Every student that attends one of our events is welcomed by another student, starting these connections from the first time we meet. Vandy Wesley welcomes and celebrates people of all races, religions, economic statuses, sexual orientations, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, and mental or physical ability.
Vandy Wesley supports students in many ways:
– Support on faith journey
– Pastoral counseling
– Opportunities to engage
– Opportunities for service
– Opportunities for scholarships
I believe the best way to get to know anyone is over coffee or ice cream — so we should do that sometime–my treat! – Pastor Nancy
Meet our Vandy Wesley leadership team.
Rev. Nancy Parker
Nancy is a creative and energetic pastor in the United Methodist Church. She frequently breaks into song and laughter and her deepest vocation is bringing people together from different cultures and backgrounds for conversation, music, and/or spiritual practice. Nancy has served as the Methodist Affiliated Chaplain at Vanderbilt and pastor for the student organization Vandy Wesley since 2016. She has also been an associate pastor at West End UMC since 2013. She has a Bachelor of Arts in music from Florida State University and a Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School. She is married to Geoff, who also works in young adult ministries.
Vandy Wesley has offered a worshipping community for Vanderbilt students for over 50 years. Throughout its history, Vandy Wesley has always offered a progressive Christian community with student leadership.
Through changing worship styles, locations, and campus ministers, these core elements of the ministry have remained. Christian faith in the Wesleyan tradition is Christ-centered, open-minded, and big-hearted.
We are named after the eighteenth-century founder of the Methodists, John Wesley, who started a spiritual revival on the college campus of Oxford that was focused on cultivating a Christian faith that is personally meaningful and socially relevant. Our mission on the campus of Vanderbilt is to continue in this tradition of forming and renewing the faith of emerging adults.
Like most Christian denominations, we have creeds that attempt to point to the essence of what we believe. In connection with Christian communities across the globe, we profess belief in the great creeds of the church, which are the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed. We believe that what unites us as Christians is far more important than what divides us. While we have our own particular views on a variety of theological and ethical issues, which can be found in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church (online at www.umc.org), John Wesley taught us to live with a “universal spirit” that seeks to build bridges with other Christians, and with people of other faiths as well. In the spirit of Methodism, we do not focus on creating boundaries with long lists of required beliefs. Instead, we focus on creating a community that has a strong center in Christ, while being open to exploring the edges of faith in ways that respect both the limitations of our knowledge and the uniqueness of each person’s experience.
While creeds and statements of faith can be helpful in some ways, quite frankly, they can also be a bit dry and, if we are being honest, a bit boring. Interestingly, Jesus didn’t spend much time teaching creeds. Instead, he spent a lot of time telling engaging stories about what God is like, and Jesus’ followers spent a lot of time telling stories about Jesus to describe what God is like. Stories were how Jesus and his followers communicated what faith is about. We hope you\’ll share your story with us.