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Philosophy & Religion Facilities and History


Henry Solomon Lehr, ONU’s founder and first president, infused the University with the foundational values of his Christian faith – dedication, kindness, compassion and service. In doing so, he left a great legacy, for these values resonate with students from all faith traditions and have endured through the decades.

In 1899, Lehr and his associates sold ONU to the Central Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (now known as the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church). This transfer of ownership made ONU a church-related institution and underpinned the role of “morality and religion” in ONU’s educational mission.

Following Lehr, the next five ONU presidents were Methodist clergyman. In 1965, Dr. Samuel Lewis Meyer became the first laymen to run the University. Under his watch, ONU built the Wesley Center – home of the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

The Wesley Center includes the Burgett Pavilion, which contains three classrooms, a student lounge and faculty offices. The classrooms are all equipped with the latest educational technology.

The English Chapel also is part of the Wesley Center. The chapel, which seats 375, has a five-ton tower. It contains a prayer room, two multi-purpose rooms, the office of the University chaplain and headquarters for the student religious council.

Wesley Center is located in the heart of campus next to Heterick Memorial Library. A metal sculpture, representing the Flame of Unity, stands on the mall midway between the two buildings. The sculpture bears the words of John Wesley, who laid the foundation for the Methodist Church in England and America: “Let us unite the two so long divided – knowledge and vital piety.”

Philosophy and Religion Department

Beth Buist

Burgett Hall 124
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.