1. Ada Prayer Chamber
Facing the cross high up on the center of Pfeiffer Hall, take the thirteen granite stairs that lead you into the building and walk up to the third floor where you will see an old, deep brown, wooden door in the center of the corridor. This is the Ada Prayer Room, in memoriam Ada Kim who passed away in 1931 while attending Ewha College.
If you open the door with the plaque that states, “This is a place for meditation and silent prayer,” the scent of history seeps through not only into your nose, but also into your heart.
In this prayer room, you will find old floors, deep brown chairs and a big Bible opened upon a dark brown lectern in front of the window, harmonizing with the crown molding on the oval-shaped ceiling and old light fixtures, reminding us of Ewha’s legacy of faith. Alumna Ada Kim was a devout Christian student who supported Alice Appenzeller with prayers, especially during the relocation to Sinchon campus. Ada Kim was recognized as a prayer-pioneer among students who readily named the prayer room the Ada Prayer Chamber. Even while fighting against a disease for five years, she continued to pray for Ewha and its neighbors. In memory of her faithful life, students collected donations to make this prayer room on the 3rd floor of Pfeiffer Hall upon its completion in 1935.
2. Prayer Room at Student Union
At the end of the flaunty corridor with colorful posters and notice boards on the second floor of Student Union, there is a prayer room. A green plaque on the left side of the entrance states:
“Building upon Christian founding spirit, Ewha has strived to provide excellent higher education to Korean women, which calls for places where students can encounter God in prayer and meditation. The generous support of Sunyeong Choi and Hyeongja Lee allowed us to construct the Student Union building with a prayer room, honoring this call. Here we cherish their selfless contributions.”
<Ewha Womans University, May 30, 1998>
With the encouragement of alumnae to cherish the founding Christian spirit of Ewha, many Christian student activities and worship services take place in this room. When you enter the prayer room, you will see long, wooden benches on the gray carpet, creating a space for students’ various spiritual needs. The sunlight peeking through small windows beams on the cross and highlights the scent of flowers placed on the lectern. Perhaps you may notice the briskly blowing leaves outside the tiny windows whispering, “God is alive…”
3. Ewha Womans University Church Main Sanctuary
Ewha Womans University Church stands next to the International Education Building, behind the Centennial Museum. This contemporary church building lacks the steeple or cross usually found on churches. However, the white metal structure that embraces the center of the building is cross-shaped when seen from above. If you climb the outside staircase and enter the building you will see the church office and a chapel. One floor up, you will find the main sanctuary.
The current Ewha Womans University Church building was consecrated on May 31, 2000. Ewha Womans Univeristy Church was originally founded on September 29, 1935 in Case Hall, which had many other functions apart from housing the church. Fulfilling a long-held wish, a donation from Seonghak Baek, Chairman of the Youngan Group in memoriam of his mother, and offerings from the congregation allowed the church to be built on the current site.
Every Sunday, around 700 church members gather for worship. It is a home to Korea’s intellectual communities as well as young people to engage wrestle with the word of God and worship Him. On weekdays, you can see commuting administrators, faculty members, and students stop by in the morning to pray and meditate.
4. Lee Mihwa Prayer Room at ECC
On the second floor below ground in the massive, iconic Ewha Campus Complex (ECC) the small, yet beautiful Lee Mihwa Prayer Room is located. Since it is located right next to the ECC reading halls, it invites students worn out of studying to drop by, pray and meditate. Also, since this prayer room is close to the main gate, commuting students can visit, lay down their anxieties stemming from the challenges of their campus life, career search and personal issues and find consolation.
Initiated by the donation of alumna Gwiran Choi (Pharmacy ‘56) in honor of her daughter Mihwa Lee (Sociology, ’82), the funding for this prayer room was made possible through donations from Ewha Womans University Church. The elegant design was created by the architect Chanjung Kim, who volunteered his talent for this project. As you open the thick wooden sliding door, you can smell the fragrance of woods that comforts the tired body and soul. The walls are made out of hundreds of wooden blocks, and natural lights seeping through the blocks seem to tell us about God’s revelation and grace.
Notice the cross on the front. Engraved in a hemisphere, this cross reminds us of the world we live in. The soft light that peaks out of it, consoles the praying person with the beauty and glory of the divine.
5. Seungmin Prayer Room at Hanwoori House
The construction of the Seungmin Prayer Room in Hanwoori House was supported by alumna Inja Park (English Language & Literature ‘63). The headstone on the left side of the room preserves her hope that Ewha students will meet God in prayers, just as she believes her late daughter Seungmin is. The headstone reads:
“This prayer room was constructed with the support of alumna Inja Park (English Language & Literature, ‘63). In this place, may students meet God in prayer and meditation.”
<February 23, 1999>
The prayer room is equipped with a digital piano, scores of worship songs, hymnals, and Bibles, which are used by the residents of the dorm in their private visits and communal gatherings. The comfortabe cushions and dim lights create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
6. Oratory Prayer Room at I-House
Building C, room G181 in I-House (Global Tower) houses a tiny, charming prayer room named Oratory, which opened in 2006.
Dim light radiating from the back of the cross in the center wall give a warm welcoming feeling to visitors. Under the cross, there is a big Bible on the small, wooden music stand, along with several Bibles in different languages. This room invites you to be on your knees and pray, even without turning on any lights. The wooden walls, floor, and the ceiling creates warmth that resembles a mother’s embrace of her child.
As a sacred space for international students from all over the world, this room is where prayers for families and friends across the ocean and challenges faced in an unfamiliar land are lifted. Perhaps tears of sorrow and joy are shed here as well. Here students ask God to help them navigate their lives and accomplish their academic goals.
7. Oratory Prayer Room at E-House
E-House, constructed in August 2016, houses four prayer rooms. Seated at the foothill of Ansan, E-House is a perfect place for praying, surrounded by beautiful woods and providing panoramic city views, emitting an exotic, mystical ambiance. Each prayer room reflects the elegant architecture of this newly built dormitory.
Building 202’s prayer room is located in B157. Furnished with a lectern and prayer chairs, it has a dark brown cross in the front. When you turn on the light on the cross, the light emits through the slit on the side of the cross and spreads across the white wall creating a mystical atmosphere.
Building 204’s prayer room, located in B278, is more spacious than the other prayer rooms in E-House. Sponsored by the university church, this room is decorated with differently shaped crosses designed by artists from the Fashion Design department in the College of Art & Design. Beauty lends its hands to those who pray in this room.
Building 302’s prayer room, located in B176, may look compact but the benches invite multiple residents to find seats and pray. Lighting installed on each side of frontal floors reflect on the white cross in the center as if to cleanse our mind.
Building 304’s prayer room in B176 has an altar below a white cross with a rough, stony surface, reminding us of the suffering of Christ. The lighting that gently pins down from the ceiling creates a meditative space.
The fresh air and clear sky above the surrounding hills of Ansan makes E-House a wonderful place to lead a spiritual life. Students living far from their home during the semester can meditate in one of these prayer rooms in E-House, while cultivating the Ewha spirit of love and service and casting visions for their future.