Office of the University Chaplain

Columbia University in the City of New York

 Office of the University Chaplain

The Office of the University Chaplain’s Principles and Values:

  1. The life of the mind and the life of faith are uniquely related to each other.
  2. Everyone is welcome – people of all faiths, spiritualities, and personal journeys.
  3. Every person is treated with dignity; respecting the uniqueness of individuals, communities, and cultures.
  4. Community building requires hospitality, courage, and compassion.
  5. Heart, soul, and mind connect us all.

Kraft Global Fellows|Nairobi

Global Travel Opportunity

Kraft Global Fellows
The Office of the University Chaplain’s Kraft Global Fellows Program is an initiative of the Kraft Family Fund for Intercultural and Interfaith Awareness. The project, led by Jewelnel Davis, University Chaplain and Associate Provost. The mission of the program is to promote interfaith and cross-cultural experience and to provide an opportunity for Columbia University students to add a global perspective to their Columbia University academic experience by utilizing the resources of the Columbia Global Centers, while enriching the Columbia University community by creating opportunities for students to share their research, their experience, and the resources of the Columbia Global Centers once they return.

In June 2019, The Kraft Global Fellows Program will support students to travel to Nairobi. The group research project will focus on the religions, cultures and communities of Kenya.
Click below for the application !
KGF-Nairobi Application

Baccalaureate 2019

Please join us for the 2019 Baccalaureate Service! The Baccalaureate Service is a multi-faith event celebrating the completion of each undergraduate’s academic career. The Service will take place Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 10am in St. Paul’s Chapel. All undergraduate seniors eligible for graduation can register. All are welcome to attend.

Kraft Global Fellows in Tunisia: Reflections by Maryam Elsayed

Through the Kraft Global Fellows Program, I was given the opportunity to travel to Tunisia on a research trip for ten days. I was passionate about participating in this program because I wanted to explore issues such as racial discrimination and multi-faith interconnectivity. As someone who is concentrating in Middle Eastern Studies and is of Egyptian ethnicity, I was also interested in exploring how Tunisia differed from Egypt post-Arab Spring. I was able to learn about all these facets from the perspectives of different Tunisians.

 

I listened to the opinion of our tour guide, Moiz, who shared that democracy is not as important as people being able to provide for their families. However, other Tunisians disagree and see democracy as a platform for growth in their nation. These discussions allowed me to understand the complex narratives that exist about the revolution. When we met with Youssef Cherif, a political analyst and the head of the Columbia Global Center in Tunis, he shared his views on the role of international actors in Tunisia and the future of the nation. Youssef explained that following the uprising, Tunisians did not have enough ideas to lead because they were never allowed to do so. Thus, there was a vacuum that foreign influence filled. International actors are not always bad; for example, they can have a positive influence by helping the nation maintain free elections.

 

We were also able to meet with MP Jamila Ksiksi, the first black member of parliament, who works to fight racism and colorism. I was inspired to see and speak to a Muslim woman who helped enact a law that criminalizes racial discrimination against the country’s black minority. Furthermore, she is a voice for many people, including women, black Tunisians, and sub-Saharan Africans in the country.

 

To be able to take this journey with the University Chaplain, Chaplain Davis, was a rewarding experience. Through our conversations, I was able to see how faith and learning are interconnected. Not only was my experience purely academic in nature, it was also personal. I felt a semblance of home in Tunisia where I was considered to be of the people, rather than an “other.” This was evident when I was able to have conversations in Arabic, my native language, with a woman in the supermarket in Tunis and Chief Rabbi Haim Bittan in Djerba. The knowledge that I gained during the Kraft Global Fellows Program is not something I could have learned from merely reading a textbook. I look forward to bringing back new insights to discuss with my peers!

 

Kraft Global Fellow|Chile: Deadline Extension

The submission deadline for Kraft Global Fellow|Chile has been extended until February 1st. 2019
KGF-ChileApplication

Kraft Global Fellows Winter 2019: Tunisia

After a Berber man whose family has worked in ceramics for generations showed the group to the cave where he collects his clay, Jack has a hand at sculpting a vase on the pottery wheel.

Denisse and Luke return from a beautiful excursion into the desert on camelback.

Maryam smiling with her new friend prior to our desert adventure in Douz, known as the “Gateway to the Sahara.”

The Kraft Global Fellow in Maliki mosque with Imam Miknassi.

The Kraft Global Fellows visited a traditional Berber house in Matmata, a town in central Tunisia. Families carve these dwellings out of soft earth and—note the satellite dish—have had electricity since the 1970s with the more recent addition of cable.

Annie and Jack enjoy the change of scenery from New York traffic and terrain during a rest stop in the desert on the way to Douz.

Chaplain Davis, Joshua Nacht, and Haim Bitan, Grand Rabbi of Tunisia.

Luke, Jack, Aanand, and Josh pose at a desert overlook in Matmata, not far from one of Star Wars’ filming locations.

Chaplain Davis and students brave the Tunisian desert on ATV, all sporting traditional Berber clothing as protection from sand and wind.

Were There More than Three Kings?

“Thirty years ago there were 50,000 Christians in south-eastern Turkey speaking a dialect of Aramaic – the language of Christ. Now there are 2,500. Talking to one of them, the BBC’s Jeremy Bristow learned that instead of Three Kings, there might actually have been 12.”

Read the full story

Kraft Global Fellows Program: Spring 2019

For information about the Spring 2019 Kraft Global Fellows Program, please visit the attached page: Kraft Global Fellows Program – Spring 2019; Chile. 

 

 

Kraft Global Fellows: Winter 2019

Congratulations to the Winter 2019 Kraft Global Fellows!

Click here to see the Winter 2019 Fellows

 

Need a quiet place to study? Come to Earl Hall!

Welcome Simran Jeet Singh to our Religious Life Adviser Team!

We welcome Simran Jeet Singh to our Religious Life Adviser Team!

The Office of the University Chaplain promotes the common spiritual life of the University, while also designing and directing programs that minister to the needs of students’ individual faiths.  The office is supported in this mission by the work of our Religious Life Advisers (RLA’s), a group of clergy and spiritual advisers from the various faith groups represented on campus. Supported by sending organizations outside of the university, RLA’s help to lead religious services, organize programming, and provide spiritual counseling on campus.

To date, Columbia’s RLA team has lacked a representative from the Sikh tradition. The addition of Simran Jeet Singh, who’s sending organization is The Sikh Coalition, remedies this lack while also bringing to our campus community a religious leader of both local and international renown. Conversations with Dr. Singh began early during the fall semester, and the recently completed application process included student feedback in the form of supporting signatures.

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Singh to this role within our Office. His presence will not only provide further support for one of our most active religious communities on campus, but will also enrich the broader university family.

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