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Religious Diversity at Villanova

candles-interfaith-web

Villanova’s Augustinian heritage embraces the search for meaning at the heart of the human journey. We seek to deepen the identities and practices of people of all faith backgrounds, as well as those who do not identify religiously, through open, honest dialogue and interaction. 

Fill out this quick multifaith survey to let us know how we can support you in your journey.

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Multifaith Staff and Advisers

In addition to filling out the survey, please feel free to contact one of our advisers. We are happy to answer questions, address concerns or just chat about religious opportunities on and off campus.

head shot of Rev. Dr. Julie Sheetz

The Rev. Julie Sheetz, PhD
Director of Multifaith Ministry


Matthew Zanowic 
Graduate Resident Minister—Interfaith Outreach

head shot of Asheq Fazlullah

Asheq Fazlullah
Muslim Student Adviser

head shot of kerry san chirico

Kerry SanChirico, PhD
Orthodox Student Adviser

Aviva Marchione
Hillel Adviser

Multifaith Engagement and Worship

We offer students of different faith backgrounds many ways to pray, worship and interact with each other and with faculty, staff and community leaders. Multifaith events include dinners, retreats and our popular Human Library.

The area surrounding Villanova is home to many wonderful communities offering prayer and worship. For info about transportation and other opportunities, please contact the Rev. Julie Sheetz.

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You’ve never read a book like this before!  At the Human Library, check out a “human book”—faculty, staff and community leaders of diverse faith backgrounds (Muslim, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Sikh, Baha’i)—to learn about their beliefs and practices. Held every semester in Falvey Library.

Join with students of diverse faith and ethical backgrounds to explore our differences and common threads. The Interfaith Coalition meets throughout the academic year to learn about diverse faiths, engage in dialogue, plan and lead events, and develop the skills of interfaith allyship.

Students of different backgrounds gather to share food and friendship as we learn from one another about diverse faith, spiritual and ethical perspectives on core values and contemporary issues.

Typically held in the spring semester, this retreat offers a unique chance to learn firsthand about the beliefs and practices of different religious traditions through site visits to area faith communities. Participants will also begin to develop skills in interfaith dialogue. Students of all faith backgrounds, as well as those who do not identify as religious but are interested in learning, are welcome to attend.

Throughout the year, members of the Villanova community are invited to join in celebrating holidays of diverse faith traditions, including the Jewish High Holidays, Diwali (Hindu), Purim (Jewish), Holi (Hindu) and Ramadan (Muslim) Iftars.

Jummah Prayer is held every Friday during the school year at 1:45 PM, usually in the West Lounge of Dougherty Hall. For more info, contact Asheq Fazlullah, the Muslim Student Adviser.

We invite you to join us for Mindfulness Mondays. For details, including the time and Zoom link, see the Spirituality web page. Each session is facilitated by a member of the Villanova community. Everyone is welcome. No registration is required.

We invite you to join us for Centering Prayer, which cultivates a place of rest and attentive presence in the midst of our busy and distracted lives. For details, including the time and Zoom link, see the Spirituality web page. All are welcome. No previous experience is necessary.

See the Sunday and daily Mass schedule and other opportunities on the Catholic Worship web page.

Bethel AME Church of Bryn Mawr
50 South Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
[610] 527–6674
Sunday 11:00 AM

Bethel AME Church of Ardmore
163 Sheldon Lane
Ardmore, PA 19003
610-642-8966

Central Baptist Church
106 West Lancaster Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
610-688–0664
Sunday 10:45 AM

Lower Merion Baptist Church
911 New Gulph Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
610-525-1855
Sunday 10:30 AM

Church of the Good Shepherd
1116 E Lancaster Ave
Rosemont, PA 10910
610-525–7070
Sunday 8:00 AM Low Mass, 10:00 AM Solemn High Mass

Soka Gakkai International - Philadelphia
2000 Hamilton St.
Suite 210
Philadelphia, PA 19130
215-569- 2144

Won Buddhism of Philadelphia
423 Abington Ave.
Glenside, PA 19038
215-866-8443

Six:Eight Vineyard Church
1116 Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
610-733-8856

Resurrection Philadelphia
123 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Sunday 9:30 AM

Church of the Saviour
651 N. Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
[610] 688–6338
Sunday 8:05 AM & 9:30 AM (Classic)
Sunday 11:00 AM (Contemporary)
Sunday 6:00 PM (Postmodern)

Hope Community Church
150 East Beidler Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
[610] 265–4981
Barry.Selinksy@villanova.edu
Sunday 9:00 AM, 10:45 AM

St. George Coptic Orthodox Church
411 Dekalb St.
Norristown, PA 19401
[610] 272–7615
stgeorgephilly@gmail.com
Sunday 9:00 AM

For more information, please contact Dr. Kerry SanChirico, Orthodox Student Fellowship Adviser (kerry.sanchirico@villanova.edu) or Father Joseph Loya, OSA of the Theology & Religious Studies Department at ext. 9-7243.

Christ Church Ithan
536 Conestoga Rd
Villanova, PA 19085
(610) 688-1110
Sunday 8:30 AM & 10:00 AM

Church of the Redeemer
230 Pennswood Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
[610] 525–2486
Sunday 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM

St. David's Episcopal Church
763 South Valley Forge Rd
Wayne, PA 19087
610-688-7947
Sunday 8:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 5:00 PM

Saint Mary's Episcopal Church
104 Louella Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
[610] 688–1313
Sunday 7:45 AM & 10:30 AM

Saint George Antiochian
8210 West Chester Pike
Upper Darby, PA 19082
[610] 853–1171
Saturday 5:30 PM—Orthodox Vespers
Sunday 9:30 AM—Matins
Sunday 10:30 AM—Divine Liturgy

For more information, please contact Dr. Kerry SanChirico, Orthodox Student Fellowship Advisor (kerry.sanchirico@villanova.edu) or Father Joseph Loya, OSA of the Theology & Religious Studies Department at ext. 9-7243.

Bharatiya Temple
1612 County Line Road
Chalfont, PA, 18914
215-997-1181

BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha 
1561 Woodbourne Road
Levittown, PA
610-525-7070

Please contact Villanova’s Hindu Interfaith Advisor, Shivam Gosai, for more information: shivamgosai@gmail.com

Temple Beth Hillel Beth El (Conservative)
Lancaster Avenue & Remington Road
Wynnewood, PA
610-649-5300
Friday 6:00 PM, Saturday 9:30 AM

Temple Brith Achim (Reform)
481 South Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA 19087
610-337-2222

Main Line Reform Temple
410 Montgomery Ave.
Wynnewood, PA 19096
610-649-7800

Please visit the official website of Villanova Hillel for more information.

Wayne United Methodist Church
210 S. Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
[610] 688–5650
Sunday 10:30 AM

Radnor United Methodist Church
930 Conestoga Road
Rosemont, PA 19010
610-525–6962
Sunday 11:00 AM

St. Luke United Methodist Church
568 Montgomery Ave.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
610-525-2396

Islamic Society of Greater Valley Forge
958 N Valley Forge Rd
Devon, PA 19333
610-688-2209

The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship (Sufi)
5820 Overbrook Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
215-879-6307

Please contact Villanova’s Muslim Advisor, Asheq Fazlullah, for more information: afazlu01@villanova.edu

Grace Covenant Church
275 S. Ithan Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Alejhandra.taraquino@villanova.edu
Sunday 9:45AM (Pickup at Bartley Hall at 9:30 AM)

Renewal Presbyterian Church
4633 Cedar Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19143
[215] 727–7200
Sunday 9:30 AM & 11:30 AM

Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church
625 Montgomery Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
[610] 525–2821
Sunday 8:00 AM & 10:00 AM

Wayne Presbyterian Church
125 E. Lancaster Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
[610] 688–8700
Sunday 8:30 AM, 9:30 AM, & 11:00 AM

Ardmore Presbyterian Church
5 W. Lancaster Ave.
Ardmore, PA 19003
610-642-6650
Sunday 10:30 AM

Radnor Friends Meeting
610 Conestoga Rd.
Villanova, PA 19085
[610] 293–1153
Sunday 10:00 AM

Main Line Unitarian Church
816 S Valley Forge Rd
Devon, PA 19333-1825
610-688-8332
Sunday 10:00 AM

Gulph United Church of Christ
100 Matson Ford Road
Gulph Mills, PA 19428
[610] 525–6593
Sunday 10:30 AM - Services
Friday 11:00 AM - Prayer Service

Student Groups

We support and oversee all faith-related student groups, as well as Campus Ministry student service groups.

All of these organizations also are registered with Student Involvement.

We are a student organization associated with Antioch Church of Philadelphia. Our doors are wide open to people from all backgrounds. Whether you are a spiritual seeker who's just beginning to ask questions about God or a committed Christian who wants to deepen your faith, Antioch is a welcoming community where you can find spiritual help, hope and encouragement. We invite you to discover God's wonderful love and plan for life through our church! For more info, contact Annie Song.

Fiat is Villanova's Catholic women's community. We seek to live the joy of the Gospel through conversation, friendship and a ton of fun along the way. Fiat is a space for prayer, virtuous friendship, Catholic formation and joy. We explore our identity in Christ, support each other on the journey of faith and strive for sainthood. We meet twice weekly to deepen our faith and our friendships with one another! For more info, contact Grace Manion.

We are the Villanova Fellowship Group for a local Philadelphia church, Grace Covenant Church. GCC is a nondenominational Christian church that seeks to raise kingdom workers. Our GCC fellowship group on campus meets every week for Bible study. We have various fun events during the year that allow us to have fellowship in Jesus! For more info, contact Julia Moon.
 

Join with students of diverse faith and ethical backgrounds to explore our differences and the common threads that bind us together. The Interfaith Coalition meets throughout the semester to learn about diverse faiths, engage in dialogue, plan and lead dinners and events, and wrestle with the challenges of being an interfaith ally. We strive to create an inclusive presence on campus for dialogue, service and learning across lines of religious difference. Whether you are a lifelong person of faith or you are still exploring, we welcome you. For more info, contact Julie Mathew.

The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal Catholic organization dedicated to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism, upholding them through our programs, meetings and events centered around growing as men in the Catholic faith. Our goal is to give men the opportunity to build up and strengthen the Church. We welcome all Catholic men who want to start living out their faith in a more concrete way. No matter where you are in your faith and relationship with Christ, the Knights are here to build you up into the man you are meant to be. For more info, contact Dan DiLullo.

The Muslim Students Association seeks to serve the best interest of Muslim students, while educating and interacting with other faiths to promote religious diversity at Villanova. The MSA offers Jummah (congregational) Prayer on Fridays, community Iftar meals during Ramadan, and numerous events for community building and learning throughout the year. For more info, contact Yousef Maner or Hamna Chaudhry.

Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) guides students along the path to Jesus Christ through His Church, cultivating a campus community of worship, witness, service, fellowship and education. The Vision of OCF is to

be the loving presence of Christ and the Orthodox Church on Villanova’s campus

be an integral part of students’ spiritual formation by challenging them to explore the faith

inspire students to commit to living an Orthodox Christian way of life daily

OCF meets regularly, either with our spiritual adviser or with our club, to cultivate an Orthodox community on campus. Additionally, OCF participates in other campus ministry events, representing the Orthodox student voice at Villanova. For more info, contact Jenna Magas.

The mission of Hillel is to enhance the religious and cultural lives of Jewish students at Villanova, to make Jewish students feel comfortable on campus and to address as many of their needs as possible. We also hope to make non-Jewish students feel welcome in the club. We strive to uphold our mission by celebrating Jewish holidays, hosting Chinese food dinners, and facilitating dialogue between Jewish and non-Jewish students. For more info, contact Micki Loud and Lauren Arnold.

The purpose of Villanova Intervarsity is to start and grow a witnessing community 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. For more info, contact Jane Stilwell.

Young Life College is an ecumenical Christian fellowship group seeking to foster and develop relationships with each other and with God. We offer weekly large groups and small groups where we look at the Bible, talk about faith, and learn more about who Jesus is and how he influences our lives. Wherever you are in your faith journey, you're welcome here! Join us as we have fun and explore our faith through community, adventure and significance. For more info, contact Ellen Pataky.

Interfaith Advisory Council

The IAC envisions a Villanova community that is a welcoming home for people of all faith traditions, as well as for those who identify as non-religious. It draws on partners from across campus to guide university policies and practices around four focal areas:

  • Fostering religious literacy and interreligious learning and leadership
  • Ensuring accommodations for religious practice for those of all traditions
  • Addressing, in coordination with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, issues of religious bias or discrimination
  • Building bridges of understanding across lines of religious and nonreligious difference

Sheryl Bowen, Intergroup Dialogue Program
Joseph Citera, Student Involvement
Asheq Fazlullah, Muslim Student Adviser
Brian McCabe, Campus Ministry
Terry Nance, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Kerry San Chirico, Theology and Religious Studies
Julia Sheetz, Campus Ministry
Asher Sofman, Jewish Student Adviser
Cathy Toner, School of Business

The council was established in 2018 as an outgrowth of University initiatives to promote interfaith engagement, including

Creation of position of Campus Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Outreach

Creation of faculty line for interreligious studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Selection of five Villanovans to participate in first Institute for Interfaith Excellence, sponsored by the Interfaith Youth Core and the American Association of Colleges and Universities

Integration of interfaith engagement into student experience through leader trainings

Regular component of the RISE training for student organization leaders

Regular component of School of Business student leader training

Interfaith sessions with RAs, Blue Key, Peer Ministers, ACT facilitators and IGR students

Initiatives with Student Government 

Advocacy and support for diversifying of Theology and Religious Studies offerings and faculty

Retooling of TRS program structure led to the creation of 3 tracks for THL 1000:

Catholic Studies
Faith and Reason
Global Religious Experience

Faculty lines increasing religious diversity:

Dr. Ethan Schwartz, Hebrew Bible, Jewish Studies
Dr. Stephanie Wong, Comparative and Systematic Theology, Chinese Religions 
Dr. Jaisy Joseph, Systematic and Practical Theology 

Kerry San Chirico and Julie Sheetz co-authored chapter on “Interreligious Studies and Interfaith Engagement at the Catholic University" for the Georgetown Handbook of Interreligious Studies

Support for diverse religious practice

Weekly Jummah (Muslim congregational prayer) on campus 

Establishment of advisers for Muslim Students Association and Hillel

Research and development of multifaith prayer space (to be included in St. Rita Hall renovation)

Academic and dietary accommodations (e.g., Ramadan and Eid during final exams)

Transportation to religious services and other support

Addressing religious bias, discrimination and violence

Vigils in wake of Tree of Life synagogue and New Zealand mosque attacks

Public response to antisemitism

Continuing work with ODEI on campus climate

Multifaith experiential learning

Interfaith Human Library held every semester 

Interfaith retreats

Religious site visits

On-campus events (prayer practices, interfaith dinners, Ramadan iftars, Holi celebration, Passover seders)