Spiritual Growth

Affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, PLNU offers a welcome space and invites students of all faith backgrounds and denominations to worship, grow, and serve collectively with open minds and respect for differing perspectives and schools of thought. As a community that values compassion, hospitality, and grace, we believe Christ-centered education happens best when it's lived out together.

Since PLNU’s founding in 1902, chapel has served as a central communal space for all community members to worship, learn, and gather collectively as a university. Traditional chapel services are offered three times a week, with additional peer-led and alternative chapel settings for students to encounter and recenter their attention on God, and to learn from speakers from varying faith perspectives.

Learn More About Chapel Tune in to Chapel Live

Opportunities to Live Out Your Faith

Being active in your faith and serving others is another integral component of spiritual growth at PLNU. With numerous ministries and volunteer opportunities, there are numerous ways to get involved, including small groups and spiritual mentorships on campus, local ministries throughout San Diego County, single- and multi-day activities with our neighbors along the border, and opportunities to serve internationally. 

"PLNU's spiritual mentoring program is incredible; it has given me the unique, valuable opportunity to mentor and be mentored at the same time. Being mentored by a staff member has strengthened my faith — my mentor consistently reminds me of God's faithfulness throughout our lives, and is quick to listen and share wisdom, which helps me discern God's voice."

Natalie Rosen, Class of 2017

Female students praying at D group

Discipleship Groups

Discipleship Groups (D-Groups) are designed for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, offering rich small group conversation and spiritual formation activities.

Two girls sit on the grass at sunset discussing life while others play baseball in the background.

Alpha Groups

Designed for first-semester freshmen, Alpha Groups provide an opportunity to build unique and lasting community by meeting together regularly to share faith journeys.

Female mentor inclines her ear toward a student during a mentoring session

Spiritual Mentorship Program

Spiritual mentoring creates an opportunity to share life with another in intentional, Christ-centered relationships. These one-on-one encounters provide the space for fruitful spiritual growth for the mentor and mentee. 

Student playing guitar during worship

Worship Arts

Students who seek to offer their creative arts gifts and talents can participate and lead during chapel and Time Out, as well as other opportunities to lead worship at events on and off campus.

In downtown San Diego, students serve through PLNU's Beacon of Light homeless ministry.

Community Ministries

Community ministry and volunteer groups serve in various locations and with a variety of populations throughout San Diego. No special skills or abilities required!

Students at construction site on mission trip to Mexico

Ministry With Mexico

Out of a desire to love God and neighbor, Ministry with México exists to contribute to shared life within our dynamic cross-cultural context by building and sustaining relationships. This occurs through events, trips, and service projects such as Border Pilgrimage, Spring Break Build, and more! 

Student teaching to African school children

LoveWorks Missions Trips

For over three decades, PLNU has sent well-trained student mission teams to serve as the hands and feet of Christ alongside partnering ministries around the world.