The Garden & Columbarium at Kelley Prayer Chapel


With the Garden and Columbarium at Kelley Prayer Chapel, Olivet Nazarene University offers a service that allows you to make thoughtful decisions about end-of-life arrangements.

The columbarium is offered to alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university as a meaningful site to be inurned. The garden is meant to be a place for visitors to sit, pray, and contemplate as they remember the lives and legacies of loved ones.

A portion of the purchase price for each columbarium niche is a charitable donation to the University and is used to help preserve the beauty of the garden and columbarium.

Your donation and purchase agreement provides complete information on the terms of the niche(s) you select. You will receive a certificate of ownership for each niche you purchase. If you choose the payment plan, the charitable donation portion of your payment will be recorded after the price of niche(s) has been paid.

Exterior shot of Kelley Prayer Chapel

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Commonly Asked Questions

A columbarium is an 18th century Latin word for “dovecote” or “dove nest.” Today, it is a place where urns holding cremains (ashes) may be inurned (reposed) in individual niches.

There has been a growing trend over the past years showing that our Olivet families are choosing cremation. Creating a sacred space on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University where loved ones may be placed is another way of honoring them and allowing them to rest in their own education and faith community. Cemeteries are not often visited, especially when they are not located nearby. A columbarium at Olivet makes it convenient for family and friends to be near.

The Garden and Columbarium has been established in green space on Olivet’s main campus, anchored by Kelley Prayer Chapel to the north.

The brick and limestone columbarium wall provides a permanent, secure and peaceful resting place for inurned ashes. Each wall’s 312 niches accommodate the ashes of one or two people. Each niche is sealed and enclosed with a marble plate memorializing the loved one. Each niche has its own 12 x 12 square marble facing stone. The stone will be engraved with names, and dates of birth and death. The niches are constructed of the highest quality material available to the columbarium industry. The garden area – adorned with mature shrubs and trees and vibrant floral beds – provides a beautiful and tranquil setting for visitors to sit, pray and contemplate. The environment invites friends and family of all of those memorialized to reflect on the lives and contributions of loved ones.

There are a total of 312 niches, but some have already been reserved.

Yes, you may select the niche. Niche assignments are offered according to the wishes of each applicant on a first-come basis at the time of completing a paid-in-full Inurnment agreement with Olivet Nazarene University. In other words, niches are assigned in the order in which they are purchased. When possible, arrangements for the purchase of niches should be made well in advance of need in order that decisions can be made without a sense of emergency.

The purchaser receives a certificate of ownership for each niche purchased through Olivet Nazarene University. Legal title remains with Olivet Nazarene University.

Urns are to be selected and secured by the purchaser and meet specific requirements. Each niche accommodates up to two urns. Two styles of urns can be purchased to fit within the niche space:

1. Standard 5 1/2” x 5 1/2” x 7” bronze sheet metal urn.

2. Personalized 6 1/2” tall x 10 1/2” wide alloy urn.

The price of one niche — which holds one or two urns — is $4,500. You are eligible for a discounted price of $4,300 if you pay in full by check or cash. A portion ($2,250) of the purchase price for each columbarium niche is a charitable donation to the University and is used to help preserve the beauty of the garden and columbarium. This price was established after a careful analysis of a number of factors, including construction and maintenance costs and market pricing.

Prices vary widely. Because it does not entail the often forgotten expenses such as opening and closing of a burial plot, caskets, hearse and so forth, the costs are approximately one third in comparison.

You will need to purchase urns and pay fees for engraving and opening/closing the niche. There will be an engraving and opening/closing fee of $500 per person.

These items are not included in the purchase price: urn purchase, cremation, transportation and other off-premises costs.

The columbarium is a place for those who love Olivet and have a special tie to the University – Heritage Society members, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and friends of Olivet.

Due to practical and aesthetic considerations, inscriptions are limited to names and dates. One font will be used on all faceplates in the garden.

Access is permitted Monday through Sunday, from sunrise to sunset, or at such other times as determined by Olivet Nazarene University.

Subject to the approval of Olivet Nazarene University, memorials may be placed only in designated areas on the day of an inurnment, and they will be removed or disposed of after 24 hours.

The date and location within the columbarium of each niche that is purchased will be recorded on a master chart held in the Office of Development at Olivet Nazarene University.