About UPC

Hear directly from our members why they chose UPC on the New To UPC page!

Welcome Statement

Wherever you may be in the journey of faith, University Presbyterian Church (UPC) welcomes you. We are a community where honest questions are valued and where faith is considered a process, not an arrival.

Affirming that every person has worth as a unique creation and a child of God, we welcome into full participation people of every age, sex, race, color, ethnicity, culture, immigration status, political affiliation, economic condition, physical and mental ability, marital status, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression.

If you are passing through, we extend God’s blessings to you as you continue on your way. If you are seeking a home, we invite you to join us in the adventure of serving Jesus Christ in a challenging world.

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Our Mission

As a community of faith in Jesus Christ, UPC members believe we are called to a reconciling relationship with God, with one another, and with the world beyond our walls.

In our worship, we:

  • Value excellent preaching and music which engage people spiritually, intellectually and emotionally,
  • Project the message of the gospel as a healing and empowering force in the world,
  • Celebrate our roots in the Reformed tradition, remaining open to the reforming process so that the core truths remain relevant in our time and place, and
  • Seek to integrate Biblical scholarship, sound contemporary reference, traditional and contemporary music, and liturgical expression into a Reformed order of worship.

As a congregation, we:

  • Believe that Christ calls us to be part of a community of faith,
  • Welcome diversity, attempting to be inclusive and compassionate,
  • Seek to nurture and support one another through life’s trials and triumphs, and
  • Seek to deepen our faith through service.

Following Christ into the world, we intend to:

  • Minister to the brokenness in the world,
  • Be an expression of Christ’s love in the world by seeking diverse opportunities to serve others, and
  • Build bridges between various faith groups in our community.

Brief history

University Presbyterian Church is part of the Presbyterian Church USA, a denomination with 1.8 million members throughout the United States. UPC was organized in the fall of 1950 and the sanctuary building at the corner of Shook and Bushnell Avenues was dedicated in January 1955. There has been a long and important relationship between the UPC congregation and Trinity University next door. Before having its own building, the congregation worshiped on the Trinity campus, and over the years many faculty, staff and students from Trinity have become a part of this faith community.

The first services were held on campus during construction, using a cross made from two pieces of scrap lumber. When the UPC sanctuary was completed the cross was carried, in procession, from the campus to the new building and installed in the chancel, where it has remained ever since. Members see its jagged ends and plain wood as symbols of a broken world in need of healing. Later, UPC began the custom of giving a replica of this cross to departing members.

The University Presbyterian Children’s Center is one of the longest and strongest ministries of the Church. The Children’s Center has continuously served families with children seven months through five years of age since it opened in 1971.

In 2001, the congregation launched an interfaith education program called the SoL (Source of Light) Center, facilitated by the construction of a new Center for Education building. The SoL Center’s mission is to provide “adult education informed by faith.”

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