Distinguished by the diversity of its members, the University of Rochester welcomes people of various faiths from around the world. The Interfaith Chapel works to support the expression of this mixture of heritages and groups.
Chaplains & Directors
- Zen (Buddhist) Meditation Group
- Korean Christian Community
- Catholic Newman Community
- Muslim Students’ Association
- Protestant Chapel Community
- UR Christian Fellowship
- Chabad House
- Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Teshin Matt Sweger
A Zen meditation group meets on Thursdays, 6:30-8:00, in the sanctuary of the chapel, for sitting meditation and dharma talks led by Teshin Matt Sweger. Meditation is open to any interested person, whether or not you have any prior experience or training in Zen practice.
Pastor Soonwoo Lee
The Korean Christian Community provides a Korean worship environment for Korean-Americans and Korean international students through sermon, worship and prayer meetings, mostly in the Korean language. We hope to guide Korean students in a path under God for a fulfilling spiritual and academic college experience. Pastor Soonwoo Lee is the chaplain to this group.
Cru is a caring community, passionate about connecting people to Jesus Christ. Cru strives to create an environment where anyone can come dialogue and explore questions about faith and spirituality, as well as a place where Christian students can grow, mature, be mentored and have opportunities to lead and live out their faith in Jesus Christ.
Rev. Brian Cool
Roman Catholic Christianity
As people of Catholic Christian faith, we gather to enrich our relationship with God and one another by nurturing the link between intellectual and spiritual life.
Rabbi Michael Silbert
University of Rochester Hillel
Hillel is all about students, with the mission to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.
The Rev. Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough
advisor to Muslim students
Two MSAs (Undergraduate and Graduate) serve the Muslim students on campus. They provide programming of interest to the Muslim community, conduct Jumma prayers on Fridays and participate in interfaith activities on campus to educate the community about Islam.
Mainline Protestant Christianity
The Protestant Chapel Community is an open and inviting group of mainline Protestant Christian students who worship weekly and participate regularly together in programs of service, education, and fellowship.
Brian White, Pastoral Associate
Christianity in the Gospel Tradition
The University of Rochester Christian Fellowship is dedicated to serving the University community by providing a Christian Protestant service in the spirit-filled gospel tradition.
Rabbi Asher Yaras
Jewish Student Community
Its warm and friendly atmosphere has earned the Chabad House a reputation as a “home away from home” for students, where a meaningful Jewish experience can be enjoyed.
Fr. Patrick Cowles
Chaplain, OCF of Rochester
Orthodox Christian Fellowship is a nationally recognized campus group that gathers for fellowship, to learn more about the Orthodox Christian faith, to worship God, and to serve through various ministries.
The Director of Religious and Spiritual Life works with chaplains and faith community leaders to create, articulate and carry out the mission of the Interfaith Chapel within the university and greater Rochester community. She provides leadership by encouraging multi-faith understanding, interfaith dialogue, education, and cooperation, through a variety of educational programs, spiritual offerings and service projects in the University and the local community off campus. The director supports the chaplains and faith community leaders in their work, encourages small and emerging student religious groups, and initiates and promotes interfaith programs and education. Regular dialogue with interfaith leaders on other campuses and in the Rochester interfaith community, and participation in regional, national and international interfaith gatherings enhances her outreach at the U of R. The Director maintains a blog as a forum for community discussion of issues in the world from an interfaith perspective. See www.interfaithconversations.blogspot.com. The Director also holds an appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Religion and Classics where she teaches courses in interfaith studies and engagement.
The university has twelve religious or spiritual groups or communities currently affiliated with the Interfaith Chapel. The Catholic Newman Community, The Protestant Chapel Community, Hillel, Chabad and Cru all have full time chaplains or religious leaders who serve their student community and three of those chaplains have offices in the interfaith chapel. The Zen Meditation Group, URCF, OCF, and the Korean Christian Community all have part time chaplains, who share office space in the interfaith chapel. With the rapidly increasing religious diversity within the university and nation, the chapel has become home to a variety of other faith communities, including, the Muslim Students Association, the Hindu Students Association and the Secular Students Association, all of which have religious or other advisors who work as part of the Interfaith Chapel team. The director, chaplains and faith community leaders work together to respond to students needs in ways that meet present day religious and spiritual realities. We strive to bridge boundaries that traditionally have divided people of different faith traditions, and of none at all. We encourage students to embrace the diversity that is so much a part of life in this university and our nation and to claim that diversity as a means for intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth.