This post was written by Rachael Clinton, Director of Organizational Development for The Allender Center and member of The Allender Center Teaching Staff. As an MDiv alumna from The Seattle School and resident of Seattle for 10+ years, Rachael brings beautiful connection and insight into the church community in Seattle. We are thrilled to share with you her insights and welcome to incoming students as some of you transition to a different city and seek new faith communities!
Many of you will be relocating to the Seattle area, leaving faith communities that have been a major part of your life and/or the life of your family. Some of you may be feeling overwhelmed at the thought of finding a new church home, while others might be excited for the opportunity to explore. Seattle sometimes gets talked about as an “un-churched” city, and this is simply not true. What is true is that Christianity does not dominate as the main religious or cultural expression like it does in other regions of the U.S. In many ways, that makes church life a bit more vibrant and authentic. You can rest assured that there are many amazing and deeply rooted faith communities in this city and the surrounding areas, representing a great diversity of Christian faith traditions (protestant, Catholic, evangelical, non-denominational, and new parish–oriented church plants).
When I moved to Seattle, I was coming out of the Southern Baptist tradition but didn’t feel as though it would be the right fit for me moving forward (the whole no women in leadership thing was conflicting with my calling, among some other things). I grew up Southern Baptist in the context of a large Roman Catholic family. I wanted to explore other denominations and expressions and discern which community might be a place I could plant. I visited mainline churches and charismatic churches and non-denominational churches and some that felt really similar to my upbringing. I eventually landed at Vineyard Community Church. While I’m grateful for where I landed, it was refreshing to experience so many different types of churches on my way to VCC.
If you are looking for a more traditional experience, hoping to be a part of an innovative church plant, or are longing to find somewhere in between, there are thriving faith communities ready to welcome you. While you can find larger churches that bring people from all over the city, Seattle also has several smaller churches oriented toward serving the neighborhoods and communities in which they are located. Keep in mind, in this city a thriving church can be as small as 35 or as large as 5,000.
Below is a list of local churches, many of which are faith communities that our students, staff, and faculty call home. Although it is not exhaustive, it should give you a good sense of church life in Seattle. Be encouraged and explore! May you be surprised by hope as you do.
- Awake Church*
- Church of the Beloved*
- Church of the Apostles (COTA)
- Bethany Community Church
- St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
- St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
- Grace Seattle
- Sanctuary Church
- Renew Covenant Church
- Green Lake Presbyterian Church
- Quest Church*
- Vineyard Christian Fellowship (Seattle Vineyard)
- St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral
- University Presbyterian Church
- Philadelphia Church
- Mt. Zion Baptist Church
- Churchome (formerly The City Church)
- Union Church
- Every Nation Church
- One Life Community Church*
- Phinney Ridge Lutheran
- Wallingford United Methodist Church*
- Seattle First Baptist
- Queen Anne Christian Church*
- All Pilgrims Christian Church
Greater Seattle Churches
- Eastlake Community Church
- Evergreen Community Church
- Northshore Baptist Church
- Canyon Hills Community Church
- Northwest Community Church
*Denotes Seattle School alum on staff.