Fuller Theological Seminary Worship Center Pasadena, California


Throughout its 50-year history, one of the largest seminaries in North America has fulfilled its mission without its own dedicated worship space. William McDonough + Partners’ design of the seminary’s new multi-denominational chapel will place it at the campus’s symbolic center, by weaving together the threads of individual and communal experience.

The concept of two wing-like walls stems from the image of praying or embracing hands. At the tops of these walls, skylights wash the interior with soft light. This dramatic use of light connects the chapel to its more traditional predecessors but also fills the interior with a warm glow. The interior is infinitely customizable, enabling worship styles, congregation sizes, seating arrangements, and acoustics to be reconfigured for different types and sizes of services and performances. The transformation of an archetypal form enables the building both to embrace and withdraw from its urban setting to create what the client calls “a place set apart.” With its lush gardens and sunny, airy interior, the center would provide a rich spiritual oasis in Pasadena.


Worship spaces, preaching labs, rehearsal spaces and administrative areas


29,650 square feet


Permitting in 2009


William McDonough + Partners, Design Architect
House & Robertson Architects, Architect of Record
EPT Design, Landscape Architect
Nabih Youssef & Associates, Structural Engineer
IBE Consulting Engineers, MEP Engineer
KPFF Consulting Engineers, Civil Engineer