Oberlin College’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) is a multifaith resource center that provides and supports diverse religious, spiritual, and ethical programs and activities for the campus and wider community.
We serve the educational, spiritual, and personal needs of a wide array of spiritual orientations, including non-theists. We maintain dynamic partnerships with many campus and local groups, including religious, interfaith, service, and social justice organizations.
ORSL’s work is led by the multifaith director and coordinator, in cooperation with a larger network of local and regional clergy and spiritual counsel open to supporting Oberlin students. Together we share responsibility for nurturing campus religious and spiritual life for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and friends of the college. We provide support for spiritual communities and religious services, spiritual care and counseling, and leadership and partnership. We also eagerly join with others in examining religious and moral perspectives on such issues as race and class, gender and sexuality, the environment, peacemaking, human rights, relationships, work, vocation, the economy, government, education, and science.
ORSL’s Programs and Services Include:
- Assessing and encouraging campus religious interest and connecting the campus community with opportunities to practice and explore religious and spiritual life
- Supporting and promoting campus spiritual communities and connections with local religious communities, as well as college-community initiatives
- Providing regular opportunities for prayer, meditation, worship, retreats, spiritual study, the observance of religious holidays, and other public and private spiritual practices
- Providing and cosponsoring programs and events to illuminate and interpret the religious, spiritual, and ethical dimensions of life and issues in our society and world
- Celebrating sacred musical traditions and encouraging the appreciation of sacred arts
- Providing spiritual care, counseling, and support for people of all spiritual orientations on the full range of religious and moral concerns and life crises experienced by members of a diverse college community, including deaths, accidents, and illnesses, and traumatic events on campus, in the local community, and in the wider world
- Promoting interfaith and intra-faith dialogue, understanding, and cooperation
- Organizing and cooperating in movements for peace, service, and social justice
- Offering education and trainings for and with other campus units to equip students and staff to address religious, spiritual, and ethical issues and concerns as they relate to their particular activities (e.g., Residential Education, Multicultural Resource Center, Counseling Center)
- Caring for and coordinating the use of Fairchild Chapel, and other campus religious and spiritual spaces for students, faculty, staff, alumni, families, and friends
- Coordinating weddings/holy unions, memorial services, and other lifecycle rituals
- Leading spiritual exercises at important moments in the life of the college, such as Convocation, Reunion Weekend, and Baccalaureate
- Maintaining connections with graduate theological schools and post-baccalaureate service and social justice programs and supporting interested students and alumni
- Maintaining relationships with alumni of many spiritual orientations and those engaged in religious studies and leadership