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.
The chapel currently hosts nine different faith communities:
- Asian Christian Community
- Newman Community – Roman Catholic Christianity
- Hillel– Jewish Life
- Muslim Students’ Association
- Protestant Chapel Community
- UR Christian Fellowship
- Chabad House
- Zen Meditation Group
Asian Christian Community
The Asian Christian Community provides an Asian worship environment for Asian-Americans and Asian international students through sermon, worship, and prayer meetings, some in Korean, English or other Asian languages.
We hope to guide Asian students in a path under God for a fulfilling spiritual and academic college experience. Pastor Hodong Hwang is the chaplain to this group.
Rev. Hodong Hwang
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.
Newman Community – 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. See the Newman Community website for more information.
Rev. Brian Cool
Hillel – Jewish Life
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. See the Hillel website for more information.
Dennis M. Kirschbaum
Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) – Islamic Community
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. See the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) website for more information.
Dr. Ahmet Celenli
Advisor to Muslim students
Protestant Chapel Community – 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. See the Protestant Chapel Community website for more information.
Rev. Dr. Laurie Tiberi
UR Christian Fellowship – 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. For more information see the UR Christian Fellowship website.
Chabad House – Jewish Student Community
It’s 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. See the Chabad House website for more information.
Rabbi Asher Yaras
Zen Meditation Group
The Zen Buddhist Group provides an opportunity for students to explore Buddhism and other Eastern traditions through weekly meditation session, discussions, and traditional Buddhist ceremonies. Whether you are curious about Buddhism or a dedicated practitioner, you are welcome to join us.
The Director, Chaplains, and Faith Community Leaders
Religious and Spiritual Life Director
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 University.
The director maintains a blog as a forum for community discussion of issues in the world from an interfaith perspective. 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.
Chaplains and Faith Community Leaders
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, the Korean Christian Community, the Asian Christian Community, the Muslim community, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Agape are all served by part-time chaplains or religious leaders who share office space in the Interfaith Chapel.
The Hindu Students’ Association serves the religious and spiritual needs of Hindu, Sikh, and Jain students. They hold on-campus activities and sponsor trips off campus to the Sikh Gurdwara and the Hindu Temple. They are advised by the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life.
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.