Chapel of the Resurrection (Valparaiso, Indiana)

Chapel of the Resurrection (Valparaiso, Indiana)
Altar and stained glass in the chapel

The Chapel of the Resurrection is the centerpiece structure on the campus of Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. It has been described as the largest collegiate chapel in the United States and the second largest collegiate chapel in the world.[1][2] Because judgments about the relative size of such buildings can be difficult, other universities have made similar claims (e.g., Duke Chapel, Stanford Memorial Church).



VU Chapel(CLight).jpg

The chapel's chancel is 98 feet (30 m) high and is circular in shape; the roof of the apse is shaped like a nine-pointed star. The nave is 58 feet (18 m) high and 193 feet (59 m) long. The building capacity is around 2000, although this number is flexible depending upon the configuration of the pews, which are moveable.

Primarily used to facilitate the many Lutheran campus worship services, the Chapel of the Resurrection also serves as a site for convocations, musical performances, guest lectures, and commencement ceremonies.

Clearly visible from U.S. Route 30 and throughout the surrounding community, the building is located on the highest point of ground on the Valparaiso University campus and is a Northwest Indiana landmark.


Groundbreaking for the Chapel construction took place in 1956. The building was designed by the architectural firm Charles Stade and Associates of Park Ridge, Illinois, though certain elements and features (e.g., the stone baptistry, the stained glass windows, etc.) were designed by other artists. Total construction costs were about $7.5 million, much of which came through individual donations.

The building was dedicated in 1959, part of Valparaiso University's centennial celebration, and officially designated as the Chapel of the Resurrection at the 10th anniversary service in 1969.


The Reddel Organ in the Chapel was commissioned by Buffalo, New York organbuilder Herman Schlicker. A contract for the organ was signed on September 27, 1957 at a cost of $68,000. These funds paid for about three-quarters of the entire specification, the price of which would have been $98,000. Paul Bunjes of Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, was retained as consultant. The instrument was dedicated at the morning Eucharist on September 27, 1959, and was featured that evening in a recital by E. Power Biggs to a record audience of over 2,000 people. It was rebuilt and enlarged in 1995-1996 by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders of Lake City, Iowa.

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