Student Religion: Religious Groups on Campus

Learn all about religious student organizations and campus ministry services at colleges across the country.

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If you’re a person of faith, it may be important for you to find a way to stay connected in college. No matter what your religion, there are many opportunities to continue to practice and connect with others, regardless of what school you’re attending.

Religious Colleges

Certain universities were founded in accordance with a specific religion and may even incorporate religious teachings into the curriculum.

The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities is 28 universities that promote Jesuit teachings and activities for students who are members of the Catholic Church. Many Universities, such as Wheaton College, the University of Notre Dame, Pepperdine University, and Abilene Christian University, have strong Christian affiliations and attract a large number of applicants who are interested in a campus that holds values similar to their own.

However, these schools do accept and assist students of other faiths. Georgetown University, a Jesuit College, holds groups and prayer services for students of Muslim, Jewish and Protestant faiths in addition to its Catholic traditions.

Religious Groups

You don’t have to attend a religious university to practice your faith. There are a number of options of religious groups and campus ministries available at nearly every college in the United States.

  • The Al-Nur Muslim Student Organization provides group education, social events, and religious support to students at Dartmouth University. Prayers are held every Friday and special events are hosted throughout the week of Ramadan.
  • Loyola Marymount University’s Campus Ministry hosts events, has ministers to provide support for the student body, and provides work and service opportunities for those who are interested in giving back to the local community.
  • Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is an organization for Jewish college students. It is the largest of its kind in the world. Membership is not required, and the group holds services during holidays, organizes student trips to Israel, and hosts a number of social gatherings throughout the year. Currently, more than 500 universities have a Hillel center on campus.

If you feel that your school does not have a group that adequately fits your religious needs, talk to administrators about starting your own. At Wellesley University, once a group is registered, it is eligible to use university space for meetings and worship, as well as receive funding from the school’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life.

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