The mission of the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life is to support Occidental students, faculty and staff in their pursuit of a vibrant and meaningful religious and spiritual life while engaging religious pluralism with a commitment to mutual respect, awareness and dialogue.

We encourage students to consider how their spiritual development intersects with their intellectual growth. The office hosts a variety of events including retreats, study breaks, opportunities to engage in spiritual practice including walking the labyrinth every Wednesday, the Interfaith Thanksgiving Lunch, and the Interfaith Baccalaureate Service. For more information about our events, visit our events page.

NetVUE Regional Conference

Occidental College is pleased to collaborate with the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) to host a regional conference "Voices from the Margins: Supporting Vocational Exploration with Underserved Students" on January 16-18, 2020. The conference will focus on how to foster meaningful vocational exploration with underserved college students.

Learn more about the event

The Values and Vocations Fellowship

The Values and Vocations Fellowship provides students the opportunity to explore the intersection of spirituality and social justice by volunteering 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.

Read more and download the application

The Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) will award up to 5 Values and Vocations Fellowships for the 2019-20 academic year. Fellows volunteer 8 to 10 hours a week at a community organization. They also spend 2 hours each week attending a reflection seminar facilitated by Rev. Dr. Susan Young, Director for Religious and Spiritual Life. During the seminar, fellows engage in small group exercises, contemplative practices and discussions about religion, spirituality, social justice, community engagement and vocation. Fellows must demonstrate a commitment to interfaith respect, dialogue and relationship. The Values and Vocations Fellowship is a two semester commitment; students receive a study grant of $1,000 per semester for participating in the program.

To apply for the Fellowship, students must: (1) submit a written application and (2) participate in a fifteen-minute interview with ORSL staff. The Values and Vocations Fellowship application is divided into two parts. Part one is the student application and Part two is the faculty reference.

Students may submit their application by emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at 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. Faculty should submit their reference to ORSL directly by either: (1) emailing it to Rev. Dr. Young at; (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.

Interested students should contact the Occidental College Financial Aid Office to determine how receiving the $1,000 semester stipend may impact their financial aid package.

The deadline for the student application and faculty reference is Monday, September 23, 2019. Rev. Dr. Young will contact applicants to schedule the interview after receiving their application. Please click on the link below to download the student application and faculty reference form.

Download the application

New Policy on Academic Accommodations for Reasons of Faith and Conscience

As Occidental College strives to provide a gifted and diverse group of students with a total educational experience of the highest quality, we recognize that the student body includes adherents of many faiths and students who passionately believe their ideology. As our student body becomes more diverse, it is increasingly important that we, as an inclusive community, make academic accommodations for students from a variety of religious, spiritual and cultural backgrounds and personal convictions. View the full policy and the procedure for requesting accommodations for reasons of fatih and conscience.