Religion plays a vital role in the life of many Yale students.

Yale’s religious life is primarily coordinated through the Yale Chaplain’s Office, located in the basement of Bingham Hall. The office coordinates many activities and provides support to many of the religious organizations on campus.

This is just a sampling of the various religious opportunities available at Yale:

Protestant organizations

There are many Protestant organizations on campus. Two of the major nondenominational organizations are the Yale Students for Christ and the Yale Christian Fellowship. YSC is the local chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ, which is an international organization. Both organizations host Bible studies, fellowship meetings and weekly retreats.

This past year, Christian organizations on campus put together a campus-wide evangelical campaign. The campaign — led by groups such as Athletes in Action, the Yale Gospel Choir, Living Water, the Malaysian and Singaporean Association Bible Study, Yale Christian Fellowship and Yale Students for Christ — culminated in a rally to encourage investigation and discussion about Christianity on campus. These student organizations are supplemented by a number of denominational and nondenominational Protestant churches, including the Baptist Campus Ministry, Black Church at Yale, the Lutheran Ministry at Yale, the Episcopal Church at Yale and the Church of Christ in Yale, among others.

Catholic organizations

There are two Roman Catholic churches on campus that function as the main centers of Catholic life: St. Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. Although both churches sponsor Bible studies, community service opportunities and related activities, the two are very different. St. Mary’s is more of a traditional community parish, while St. Thomas More is focused on campus ministry. St. Thomas More is in the midst of fund raising for a new Catholic student center that will be built next to the chapel on Park Street.

Muslim Students Association

The Muslim Students Association is the main outlet for Muslims on campus. Both undergraduate and graduate students participate in the various activities. There are prayers every night and Jumah prayers on Fridays. Students also meet regularly for dinner and fellowship. This year the MSA put together its first annual Islamic Awareness Week in order to educate the greater Yale population on Islam in America. The MSA also hosts regular Quranic study and Eid celebrations.

Jewish life at Yale

The Jewish faith on campus primarily functions through the Joseph Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, located at 80 Wall St. The center includes a chapel, a kosher dining hall, common room, library, study area and other student rooms and offices.

The Slifka Center is home to two major organizations. The Yale Hillel Foundation sponsors Shabbat services and other activities, and the Young Israel House at Yale is the campus organization for Orthodox Jewish students.

Hindu and Buddhist prayer groups

The Hindu prayer group was founded in 1998. The group combines undergraduate and graduate students to provide for their spiritual development. There are also communal prayer, meditation and discussion sessions.

Many members of the Buddhist community attends the New Haven Zen Center. Several also participate in public meditation, monthly retreats and educational programs.

Another aspect of religious life at Yale is the Multi-Faith Undergraduate Student Council which has representatives from all faith traditions and advises the Chaplain’s Office. The council also sponsors various events, including multi-faith discussion groups, multi-faith weekend retreats and other faith-building activities.

On the staff of Yale’s Dwight Hall there is a John G. Magee Fellow, who connects the University Chaplain’s Office, Dwight Hall and Yale Religious Ministries.

–YDN Staff