Passage: The Orientation Program of Wheaton College

The Start of Your Wheaton College Journey

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 Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 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 Passage FAQ page. 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

2023 Passage Dates

The Complete Passage Orientation Experience

1. Check-In, Move In, and Welcome

After you check in, our team of Thundermovers 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.  Students and Parents will attend several on-campus orientation sessions before students head to their Passage site.  

Small Group of Students Talking at HoneyRock

2. Small Group Experience

Next, 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”.


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

Small Group Experience: 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


the L in Chicago


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

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.



The Start of Your Wheaton College Journey

Passage Orientation

Pre-Passage Program

Arrive and Move In at Wheaton College


Passport to Wheaton for International Students August 8, 2023 International (F-1 Visa, MK, TCK) Students attending Passage are invited to participate in the Passport to Wheaton pre-Passage events on August 8th.  

Passage Site

Arrive and Move in at Wheaton College



Passage - Wilderness Site August 8, 2023 $995 Wilderness Passage students arrive a day early to pack their gear.
Passage - Urban Site August 9, 2023 $995 The Urban Site includes the Woodlawn and Downtown tracks.
Passage - Northwoods Site August 9, 2023 $995 The Northwoods Site includes HoneyRock and Equestrian tracks.
Passage - Transfer August 9, 2023 $995 Transfer Passage takes place in Downtown Chicago and is designed specifically for Transfer students.

How well you transition into the beginning of your college journey has a significant impact on your future success and your ability to enjoy all that college life has to offer. Therefore, Wheaton College expects all first-year students to participate in Passage and strongly encourages transfers to participate.

Wheaton Passage is a 0-credit hour academic course graded on a pass/fail basis. For more information, visit our FAQ Page.

The Passage fee is itemized as a part of your fall bill. Financial Aid for Wheaton Passage will be determined by information provided on a student's FAFSA and aid eligibility. No further application for financial aid is required for Passage.

Spring 2023 Orientation  Passage Information for Staff and Faculty