Office of Religious Life
The Office of Religious Life (ORL) strives to encourage spiritual growth and maturity within Princeton University in ways that are appropriate for each community member: to promote empirical religious literacy in preparation for citizenship in globalized, multi-religious societies; to equip members of the University community with the ability to critically analyze religious traditions while practicing them; and to teach respect to practicing and non-practicing community members.
Who We Are
The Office of Religious Life has a staff of 15 that includes the dean, two associate deans, the coordinator of the Hindu Life Program, the coordinator of the Muslim Life Program, the building administrator of the Center for Jewish Life, the director of the University Chapel Choir and the University organist.
- 33 percent of current students report being actively involved in a campus religious organization.
- ORL’s Chapel-based programming receives at least 30,000 unique visitors per year (independent of weddings and use by external organizations).
- ORL staff members meet with several hundred students per year for spiritual counseling and guidance, in addition to dozens of alumni, staff, faculty and parents.
- Murray-Dodge Café employs 22 federal work-study students and is patronized each year by a large majority of Princeton’s undergraduates, several thousand of them regularly.
- Weekly or one-off annual programming by ORL staff (independent of the denominational chaplaincies) involves an estimated 2,000 unique students.
What We Do
- Support the practice and exploration of religions and spiritualities through the coordination of religious services, sacred text study, counseling, gatherings for anniversaries or crises, denominational chaplaincies, concerts, performances and retreats.
- Create opportunities for interreligious and cross-cultural engagement and for critical inquiry into ethical issues, through the oversight of the Religious Life Council, interfaith dialogue initiatives, spiritual aspects of Universitywide ceremonies, partnerships with academic departments and student organizations, the Murray-Dodge Café, a faculty lunch series, the Journal of Religious Life and exhibitions.
- Mine the intersection of religious/spiritual commitment and the pursuit of the common good, by organizing community service activities, study trips (domestic and foreign), lectures, panel discussions, conferences and parishioner lunch programs.