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Wheaton Passage

The Orientation Program of Wheaton College

Philip Ryken in His Office

Welcome to Wheaton!

We pray for your joyful life transition to our historic Christ-centered liberal arts community. Your time with us begins with Wheaton Passage, our excellent orientation experience for all new students. Passage will help you adapt to your new life through building community and connecting with the students, professors, and staff members who will be part of your new home. 

Please remember that on or after Tuesday, February 15, 2022, you will need to log into the Portal (more information to come) to choose your specific Passage site (Wilderness, Northwoods, Equestrian, Urban, Transfer). If you have already confirmed your enrollment: we will send everyone an email reminder. So please check your email regularly!  

If you have further questions about Wheaton Passage, please visit our FAQ. May every blessing rest upon you and your family as you move into this next phase of life. 

In Christ’s service, 

Philip Ryken Signature

Philip Ryken 



Spring 2022 Orientation  Passage Information for Staff and Faculty


Distinctives of Wheaton Passage

faculty with students at honeyrock

Deep Faculty Involvement

At Wheaton, 60+ full time faculty participate in our orientation program to help students set a vision for how they can build their faith—not lose it—through the pursuit of rigorous academic study. Through conversation and fun activities, professors become trusted guides to help new students transition to college.

chicago skyline

Multi-Site Options

While all students participate in Passage, they have choice in what their experience will entail. From Chicago to the Northwoods of Wisconsin and various locations between, students can choose the location and activities that best fit their interests.

students talking in a circle

Focus on Community Formation

College can be a big place. Instead of throwing students into a massive group, we start small. Once students depart for their site, they begin to form communities within their small group of students, led by an upper-class student.


Through Passage you will gain greater clarity not only about what Wheaton can help you achieve, but who you can become. Passage is your start to the unparalleled journey Wheaton College offers. — Philip Ryken ’88, President of Wheaton College

The Complete Passage Orientation Experience

1. Check-In, Move In, and Welcome

After you check in, our team of Thunder Movers will be there to help make your move easy. Then, together with your parents you’ll be welcomed by President Ryken, administrators, faculty and other students at an opening event and learn about the mission and commitment of Wheaton College. The following morning you’ll worship together with your parents and new peers followed by a time of prayer together and an official send off to your site. 

Small Group of Students Talking at HoneyRock

2. Small Group Experience

Second, you’ll begin your small group experience off campus in a unique place. The locations of each experience vary…you could be on your way to premier wilderness locations to Wheaton's HoneyRock Center for Leadership Development in northern Wisconsin or to the Center for Urban Engagement in Chicago.

students in front of blanchard

3. Converge at Wheaton

Finally, you’ll return to campus to experience radical hospitality as your fellow Wheaties welcome you to your new home. You’ll hang out with your new classmates while sampling Chicago deep dish, attend Residence Hall events, play an epic evening of rec and games under the lights on the soccer field and join the rest of the student body for your first all-campus worship, which Wheaties affectionately call “All-School”.

Four Wheaton Passage Sites

Students choose from one of four sites for the second phase of their Passage Orientation experience.

girls on wilderness trip at honeyrock



chrouser lawn at Honeyrock


Group of Wheaton College IL Transfer Students


Wheaton Passage
— By the Numbers
Wheaton staff and faculty involved
distinct sites to choose from
of incoming students participate

Start Dates for Wheaton Passage Experiences

Check-In Day at Wheaton CollegeStudent Groups
August 3, 2022 For All Wilderness Participants
August 9, 2022

Passport to Wheaton For International (F-1 visa / MK / TCK) Students
You will begin your Passport to Wheaton International Student Pre-Orientation experience on August 9 prior to Passage beginning. After Passport to Wheaton, you can choose between the Northwoods or Urban site.

Contact the International Student Programs team to learn more about Passport to Wheaton!

August 9, 2022 For Music Majors
August 10, 2022 For Urban Participants
August 10, 2022 For Northwoods Participants (Equestrian and HoneyRock)
August 15, 2022 For Transfers

Meet the Wheaton Passage Program Director

Nate Thompson, Ph.D.

My greatest passion in life is facilitating the growth that comes through connecting individuals together as they interact with one another in God's creation. I have researched around the world to investigate how groups work together using team-building initiatives native to the adventure education disciple. The more I study community in creation, the deeper I grow in my fascination with God's power.

Read more about Nate