The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) supports a number, variety, and spectrum of campus spiritual communities. For more information about these communities, please contact the contact persons listed below or the director of ORSL.
Bhakti Yoga Society (BYS; Hindu)
Student Liaison: Christian James
The Oberlin Bhakti Yoga Society provides a spiritual resource to Oberlin College students and community members through regular programs in which members and interested parties of all backgrounds may learn about, discuss, and participate in the practices of bhakti yoga. Bhakti yoga (literally "the path of devotion") is a spiritual practice rooted in Hinduism that involves awakening love in the heart and opening oneself to divine grace in a personal form through worship, prayer, chanting, singing and study, especially of the text of the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhakti Yoga Society practices kirtan (devotional singing and chanting), spiritual-philosophical discourse, and preparing and sharing prasadam (spiritualized food).
Chabad Student Group
Advisor: Frieda Fuchs
Affiliates: Rabbi Shlomo & Rebbetzin Devorah Elkan
Student Liaison:Isabelle Harari
The primary purpose of Chabad Jewish Student Group is to provide living Judaism to the students at Oberlin College within the framework of traditional Judaism and a family atmosphere. Chabad's programming includes educational, ritual, and social activities, in addition to counseling and spiritual guidance to individual students. Some of the programs that Chabad offers are: weekly classes, Creative Soul: The Jewish Arts Collective, lectures on various Jewish issues, and guest speakers for religious and cultural events. Chabad also provides Shabbat and Holiday services, Glatt (the highest Kosher standard) meals, Holiday programs, and Shabbatons (unique weekends). The Chabad Jewish Student Group is affiliated with over 400 other Chabad student groups at colleges and universities internationally, and twice a year participate in various programs and trips with other chapters. Chabad is based in Chassidic philosophy, as taught locally at the Chabad Jewish Center, directed by Rabbi Shlomo and Rebbetzin Devorah Elkan. Visit the website of the Chabad Jewish Center in Oberlin at www.JewishOberlin.com .
Student Liaison: David Kaplovitz
ChALLaH capella is Oberlin’s only Jewish music a cappella group. Members sing a wide variety of music, from pop to Jewish folk to Disney and more. The group performs at student functions on campus throughout the academic year, including Shabbat dinners and midterm study breaks.
Credo Club (Nondenominational Christian)
Advisor: Peter Slowik
Credo is a summer program of intensive chamber music study designed to nurture serious music students artistically and spiritually. Credo celebrates musical excellence as a gift of the Spirit, and its mission is threefold: to develop the gift of music; to acknowledge the Source of the gift; and to respond with service. Credo has a growing community of alumni who attend Oberlin Conservatory and College, and these students gather once a month to share a meal, fellowship, and prayer. They also lead a monthly A Cappella Chapel Service of songs, scripture, a reflection, and prayer open to the campus community. For more information, please visit CREDO's website .
Eclectic Christians of Oberlin (ECO)
Advisor: David Dorsey
Affiliate: Revs. Mary and Steve Hammond
Student Liaison: Sarah Blum
ECO occupies a distinctive place among the religious groups on campus. It attracts students from the spectrum of the Christian tradition, but is particularly appealing to those of a more progressive bent. ECO attempts to maintain an environment that welcomes all kinds of people and all kinds of questions. ECO meets weekly for dinner, discussion, and prayer. Members take turns preparing the meal and leading the discussions. There are also weekly lunches and opportunities for fellowship and special activities such as retreats and guest speakers, cookie bakes and holiday parties. Beyond that, ECO also serves as a gateway and a connection to the several mainline/progressive churches in town.
Hillel Jewish Community
Advisor: David Dorsey
Affiliate: Megan Doherty
Student Liaison: Jennifer Van Voorhees and Eli Hovland
Oberlin Hillel and the Jewish Student Union strives to create a vibrant Jewish life for students on campus. Hillel is a student-centered pluralistic Jewish space that welcomes people of all movement and secular backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, and all approaches to Israel, from Zionism to non-Zionism. Weekly meetings convene in Hillel Room, Wilder 216. Lunch is provided. The Cleveland Hillel Foundation provides the college with a Jewish campus rabbi who encourages and facilitates Jewish activities at Oberlin. Hillel also sponsors Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and other services. A community Seder takes place the first night of Passover and it is possible to eat in the Kosher Halal Co-op during Passover week. For more information, refer to Oberlin Hillel .
Hebrew Heritage House (Johnson House)
Hebrew House is the program house of Oberlin’s Judaic and Near Eastern Studies Program. A variety of religious and cultural events of interest to Jewish students and those who live in Hebrew House take place here.
Student Liaison: Lucas Burns
Humanist Freethinkers Union is an supportive, educational, and social action community for atheist, agnostic, nonreligious, and humanist students. Our perspective places emphasis on the use of reason and compassion toward developing a pluralistic and democratic world. HFU maintains relationships with off-campus humanist, ethical, and secular organizations and cooperates with many campus groups on issues such as interfaith dialogue and action, civil liberties, racial and sexual justice, and international peace.
Liberated Unitarian Universalist Voices (LUUV)
Advisor: Cindy Frantz
Affiliate: Mary Grigolia
LUUV is a group for Unitarian Universalists and those interested in Unitarian Universalism at Oberlin. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition with a Jewish and Christian heritage that is open to world religions and focused on personal ethics and social justice. LUUV gathers regularly for dinner discussions and spiritual exploration and organizes workshops on Unitarian Universalist topics, service and social justice projects, and social activities. LUUV is also connected with the Oberlin Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the UU Ohio Meadville District as well as the national Unitarian Universalist Association. The group is known for a strong sense of community, caring, support, and friendship.
Muslim Student Association (MSA)
Advisor: Maysan Haydar
Student Liaison: Samir Husain
The Oberlin College Muslim Students Association provides religious, spiritual, and cultural opportunities for those who identify as Muslim. MSA’s membership is diverse in race, gender, practice, and Islamic interpretation, also comprised of men and women representing different parts of the Islamic diaspora: South Asian, Arab, African, and African American. Our members have different attitudes and interpretations of Islam, and the organization is sensitive and respectful to this diversity; however, we are all united by our common faith. We perform prayers together as much as possible but always on Friday, the most significant prayer of the week. Our prayers are held in our prayer room in Wilder 221 on Fridays at 1:00 p.m (subject to daylight savings). The prayer room is always available for use during Wilder’s operational hours for those who want to perform other prayers of the day.
Newman Catholic Community
Advisor: David Dorsey
Student Liaison: Rebecca Lawrence
The Newman Catholic Community is a student organization dedicated to living a Catholic presence at Oberlin. Newman leadership meets weekly to plan programming, including Mass each Sunday, holiday celebrations, retreats (like the Busy Student Retreat), and other educational and community programs. Newman also plays an active role on peace and justice issues and strives to be a source of friendship, support, and mentoring primarily to Catholic students but always open to the wider Oberlin community. The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland provides Oberlin College with a Catholic Religious Life Affiliate who provides support to the Newman Catholic Community through leadership development, program planning and faith development support (including RCIA instruction for individuals considering conversion to Catholicism). For more information, please visit Oberlin Newman's Facebook page.
Oberlin Baha'i Community (OBC)
Advisor: Amanda Schmidt
Student Liaison: Jun Takaki
The Oberlin Baha'i Community has dinner and devotional gatherings Sundays, 10:30 am, (please contact Amanda Schmidt (firstname.lastname@example.org) for meeting location and more information) where we reconnect with our spiritual selves and take a break from everyday life. We regularly study the Baha'i texts in order to gain capacities to better serve the community--we are currently focusing on the need for spiritual education for children. We are also having regular Feast in the community and Ruhi study circles. Students of all religious backgrounds are welcome to join us in any activities and we are also interested in supporting interfaith initiatives at the college and in the community.
Oberlin Buddhist Fellowship (OBF)
Student Liaisons: Kelly Drumm and Stephen C. Burrows
Oberlin Buddhist Fellowship is a community dedicated to practicing and deepening in the Buddhist tradition and providing educational opportunities about Buddhism for the campus community.
Oberlin Christian Fellowship (OCF; InterVarsity)
Advisor: Brenda Grier Miller
Affiliate: Julie Longacre (InterVarsity Regional Director)
Student Liason: Angelique Montes
Oberlin Christian Fellowship is a worshiping and praying community dedicated to knowing and sharing the love of God. We are a chapter member of an international Christian organization, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. The purpose of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is to establish and advance at colleges and universities witnessing communities of students and faculty who follow Jesus as Savior and Lord: growing in love for God, God's Word, God's people of every ethnicity, and culture and God's purposes in the world. OCF has weekly small group meetings and two large group meetings per month. OCF participates in the InterVarsity Urbana conference every three years. For more information, please visit OCF's website .
Oberlin Christians Chinese Fellowship (OCCF)
Advisor: Ann Sherif
Student Liason: Danyang Dong
Oberlin Christians Chinese Fellowship provides a window of discussion about Christianity in non-denominational, bilingual, and respectful ways to overseas Chinese. It creates a safe space for the Chinese-speaking student bodies, and introduces diverse Christian world-views, voices and activities to the Oberlin community. OCCF strives to link Chinese and Chinese Christians to the other Christian communities in Oberlin College and broader areas around the Great Lakes area and Canada. OCCF also intends continue the Oberlin's historical relationship between Christianity and China, and present this significance to its members.
Oberlin Meditators (OM: Multifaith)
Advisor: David Dorsey
Affiliate: Jacques Rutzky
Student Liason: Martha Hoffman
Oberlin Meditators is a group of students who are dedicated to supporting the Oberlin Meditating Community. We invite you to come meditate with us whether you are a student or community member, spiritual or not, an experienced practitioner or a complete beginner. We have sittings (meditation) Monday-Thursday at 5pm and 8:30pm at Wilder 325. Most sittings are secular.Our teacher, Jacques Rutzky rings the bell on Wednesday at 5pm at Wilder 325 and on Saturday morning for sitting and Q/A, and discussion of the Pillars of Buddhist Life and Practice. This session will be Saturdays from 11-12:30 at his house, 280 Elm Street, for beginners as well as those interested in a deeper understanding the Buddhist Practice in the Theravada tradition. He leads various seminars and (one or two day) retreats.
Oberlin Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OOCF)
Affiliate: Father Basil Stoyka
Student Liaison: Madison Schindele
Oberlin Orthodox Christian Fellowship is a pan-Orthodox group of students who meet for fellowship, worship, spiritual development, and support. Our members experience and witness to the Orthodox Christian Church through community life, prayer, service to others, and study of the faith (Acts 2:42). The organization is open to all students – both Orthodox and non-Orthodox. OOCF meets for Bible study once a week in Wilder Hall, and is able to provide transportation to and from Lorain, OH, for Divine Liturgy.
Oberlin Young Friends (OYF)
Contact: Dan Styer & David Snyder
Student Liaison: Elizabeth Rubel
Oberlin Young Friends provides a spiritual community for students based on Quaker ideas, a comfortable environment and resource for students interested in Quakerism, and a forum for addressing relevant issues from a Quaker perspective. Membership is open to all Oberlin College students as well as senior high and college-age students from the town regardless of whether they identify as Quaker.
Queers and Allies of Faith (QUAF; Multifaith)
The purpose of this organization functions on two levels, the personal and the public. Our goal is to create a supportive environment for people who are dealing with issues around their religion and/or spirituality and their sexuality and/or gender identity and to provide a space in which they can grow spiritually through membership. At the same time, by our very existence, we prove to the world that being queer and religious and/or spiritual is not a contradiction. In this more public sphere, our goal is to create awareness of these issues throughout the Oberlin community and promote unity between queer and religious communities. Our emphasis is to promote personal growth through community action.
Voices for Christ (VFC)
Advisor: A.G. Miller
Student Liaison: Victoria Ellington
Voices for Christ is a student organization and Oberlin College's gospel choir. We sing Africana Christian/Gospel music. We meet weekly to rehearse for performances scheduled with neighboring community churches and for the Oberlin College community through our end of semester concerts. We function both as a choir and a spiritual resource for people looking for a particular Africana worship aesthetic. We meet once a week on Sundays in Bibbins Hall (the Oberlin Conservatory). We are open to and welcoming of people from various faith or non-faith backgrounds and appreciate a wide range of diverse members.
Other Campus Spiritual Communities
Other campus spiritual communities not listed here have existed in the past, such as the Oberlin Unity Fellowship. ORSL encourages and supports the formation of new campus spiritual communities. For more information, please contact the Director of ORSL.