ORSL supports the Oxy community in their pursuit of a vibrant and meaningful spiritual and religious life while engaging religious diversity with a commitment to acceptance, mutual respect, awareness, and dialogue.
Programs & Events
The offices hosts and sponsors many campus events for members of the Occidental community. These include:
- On and off campus retreats over fall break and at other times during the school year
- The use of the labyrinth for personal prayer, meditation and reflection every Wednesday
- Food Justice Month -- every October
- The Interfaith Thanksgiving Lunch
- The Interfaith Baccalaureate Service
- Study breaks for students during final weeks
- And much more!
The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) is hosting a retreat over fall break to explore the relationship between sustainable living and spirituality. Most religious and spiritual traditions express a commitment to sustaining the natural world and ensuring that all human beings are empowered to live healthy, sustainable lives. Additionally, for many, the wilderness is a place where people connect to something larger than themselves for spiritual direction and inspiration.
During this ORSL retreat, students will experience nature in a variety of ways. We will depart on Friday and spend Saturday working on an organic farm and learning about organic farming. We will camp at the Lake Casitas Retreat Area in Ojai, CA and return to campus on Sunday afternoon. Retreat participants will consider what it means to express a commitment to food justice and sustainability.
Applications are due Wednesday, October 7 by 12:00 pm. Forward application information to Rev. Dr. Susan Young at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is limited so apply soon.
The 2016 Summer Values and Vocations Fellowship
The Summer Values and Vocations Fellowship, funded by the Angell Foundation, provides students the opportunity to explore the intersection of spirituality and social justice by engaging with a community-based site and participating in a weekly seminar. The seminar allows students to explore their passion for social justice and their need to develop a spiritual practice that will ultimately help to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice.
The Summer Values and Vocations Fellowship will be awarded to three Occidental students for an eight week Fellowship beginning May 30 through July 22, 2016. Fellows will commit to 35-40 hours per week at a community-based nonprofit organization on a project of their choice. Fellows will receive a $3,120 study grant ($390 per week). Students living on campus will receive free room and board.
An additional 2 hours each week will be spent attending a weekly reflection seminar. Fellows will engage in small group exercises, contemplative practices and discussions about religion, spirituality, social justice, community engagement and vocation. Fellows must have a commitment to interfaith respect, dialogue and relationship. The seminar will draw from the fundamental belief that social justice work cannot be effectively sustained over a lifetime without a strong, centered and regular spiritual practice. The Rev. Susan E. Young will facilitate the seminar.
To apply for the Fellowship, students must: (1) submit the application and (2) participate in a fifteen minute interview with the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life. The Values and Vocations Fellowship application is divided into two parts. Part One is the student application and Part Two is the faculty reference. The application deadline for both is Monday, April 4, 2016. Applications can be picked up at The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life office or requested by email at email@example.com.
Students may submit their application by emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping it off at our office located in Lower Herrick. Faculty members are asked to complete the reference form rather than writing a formal letter of reference. Faculy should submit their reference to ORSL directly by either: (1) emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at email@example.com; (2) dropping it off in a sealed, signed envelope to the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life in Lower Herrick; or (3) by mailing it in a sealed, signed envelope to the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life.
Social Justice Interfaith Practitioners Program
The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life is pleased to announce a new program to enable students to explore their commitment to interfaith cooperation and social justice. This new Social Justice Interfaith Practitioner program, funded by Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, is an experiential learning program offered by the Office for Relgious and Spiritual Life. Students participating in the program will: learn spiritual practices from different religious, spiritual, philosophical and ethical traditions; clarify their religious, spiritual, philosophical and ethical values and beliefs and identify unanswered questions; explore their understanding of and commitment to interfaith cooperation and social justice; and, engage in vocational discernment or examine how they can live a meaningful life with a commitment to serving the common good.
Practitioners are required to work eight to ten hours a week at a community organization or on campus on an interfaith project and attend a weekly seminar facilitated by Rev. Dr. Susan Young. During the seminar, students will engage in discernment practices, discuss the rewards and challenges of interfaith and social justice work, reflect on their work site experiences and consider readings about interfaith engagement.
All students are eligible to apply for the practitioner program. Practitioners must demonstrate a commitment to interfaith respect, dialogue and relationship and an interest in discussing topics related to religious belief and practice, spirituality, social justice, responsible community engagement and vocation. Practitioners will receive a stipend of $1,300 per semester; students will be required to participate in the program for the fall and spring semesters. Four students will be selected to participate in the program.
Application process closed - students chosen for this year.
The White House Interfaith Service and Campus Challenge
Occidental College is participating in this national initiative to encourage interfaith community service and dialogue among college students. The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life will host events through out the year through this national initiative.
Additional Interfaith Calendars:
Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL)
Occidental College, F-8
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041
- Phone: 323-259-2621
- Fax: 323-341-4959