A vital, dynamic aspect of human life
At Susquehanna, religious and spiritual life is as diverse as the student body.
We embrace and celebrate this diversity. In doing so, we nourish the life of the spirit and journey more deeply into our shared humanity.
Members of our community come from many religious and spiritual traditions or none at all. There are many opportunities for religious expression and community at Susquehanna.
In addition to many student clubs and organizations, we have a weekly Christian worship service, an active Jewish community, Catholic Campus Ministries organization and a Muslim prayer room on the ground floor of the GO House.
What does religion and spirituality mean for you? Where and when do you experience community and belonging?
At Susquehanna, religion and spirituality are as diverse as the student body. We don't shy away from this diversity. We embrace and celebrate it. We don't shy away the challenges that can arise from our differences, either. Instead, seek understanding and cooperation across lines of difference. Our affiliation with the Lutheran church (ELCA) is lived out in a bold affirmation of the religious pluralism of the Susquehanna community.
My work as chaplain is grounded in the belief that each of us is called to use our gifts and talents-our lives-in service to others, particularly the most vulnerable among us. The word vocation comes from the Latin vocare, to call. Discovering your calling means listening: to your own heart, to the wisdom of others and to the needs of the world.
Whatever path you find yourself on, as university chaplain, I will walk with you as you seek your calling and community in God's beloved world.
The Rev. Scott M. Kershner
Every Sunday at 11 a.m., we gather in Weber Chapel for a Christian worship service of scripture, preaching, reflection, prayer and Holy Communion.
Never been to church before? You are welcome here.
LGBTQA? You are welcome here.
Been going to church all your life? You are welcome here.
Not sure what you believe? You are welcome here.
Looking for a non-judgmental community of support and belonging? You are welcome here.
Looking for people who want to learn what it means to love your neighbor as yourself but don't pretend to have all the answers? You are welcome here.
We hope you get the picture: you are welcome here!
We are committed to growing and developing Jewish Life on campus. Student leaders of Hillel Jewish student organization work with our director Eli Bass to create a vibrant Jewish community. Our community is proud to affiliate with Hillel International.
The Goldstein-Weis Hillel House is the hub for Jewish life at Susquehanna. Students host large Shabbat dinners and a variety of other programs. Hillel house is a former home that provides space for students to engage in Jewish programs, hang out, watch TV, study and create community. Our Kosher kitchen provides a space for students to learn about Judaism and to cook delicious food. Holiday celebrations are held here throughout the year.
Friday Shabbat dinners are a celebration of Jewish identity and community. Our dinners are often a full house as we connect to a variety of campus communities. We welcome ALL students and community members regardless of background. Our all-gender restroom and wheelchair-friendly entrance is part of our effort to create a welcoming space for all.
What else should you know about Jewish Life at Susquehanna?
- Our Jewish & Israel Studies minor offers a regular cycle of courses and learning opportunities.
- There are about 70 self-identified Jewish students on campus. Congregation Beth El in Sunbury is about 15 minutes away. It is a non-affiliated congregation.
- Hillel actively communicates with other regional college Jewish communities, including at Bucknell University, Dickinson College, Juniata College, and Franklin and Marshal College.
- Instructors work with students to make allowances for students who wish to return home for High Holidays or who worship locally and may need to miss class.
- Hillel hosts a 150-person Passover Seder each year. This is one of the largest events for Hillel each year. Limited kosher food is available during Passover in the university cafeteria. Arrangements can be made to use the kosher kitchen in the Hillel House as well.
Student deacons work with the chaplain to plan and lead worship, plan retreats and service opportunities, and advocate for social and environmental justice.
Deacon of Worship
Emma Kate Lander '20 | Severn, Md. | Religious Studies
Emma Kate assists in the planning and leadership in the Sunday chapel services and also plans and leads Kairos and devotional service on Tuesday nights in Horn Meditation Chapel.
Deacon of Service
Alyssa Miville ‘19| Turbotville, Pa. | Psychology
As deacon of service, Alyssa's main duty is to plan and execute large service events throughout the year.
Deacon of Spiritual Nurture
Zoe Clark ‘20 | Harrisburg, Pa. | Religious Studies
Zoe will plan and organize the spring and fall religious and spiritual life.
Deacon of Social & Environmental Justice
Liam Fyfe ‘20 | Lititz, Pa. | Religious Studies
Liam organizes programs and activities for environmental and social justice on campus and around the world.
Deacon of Communication & Outreach
Grace Winakor ‘21 | Portland, Conn. | Undeclared
Grace assists with the communication side of the ministry of the chaplain's office, maintaining the social media presence and helping publicize events and activities.
Student Assistant for Chapel Music
Lucy Ferruzza '20 | Lanoka Harbor, N.J. | Music Education-Instrumental
Lucy's duties include accompanying the chapel choir, providing music for services on Sunday, and arranging and coordinating service music and special chapel events.
Student Assistant to the HandBell Choir
Jude Stefanik ‘20 | Hazleton, Pa. | Music Education-Instrumental
As director, Jude leads the HandBell Choir when they perform during chapel service and other special events on campus.
Jewish Life Engagement Associates
Student engagement leaders are designed to dramatically enhance Jewish life on campus. Each assistant is charged with building relationships with uninvolved Jewish students on campus.
Gabriella Escobar ‘21
Creative Writing; English - Literature
Hannah Schustermann ‘19
West Orange, N.J.
Anthropology; International Studies - Comp. Culture
Rachel Wolf ‘20
Graphic Design; Sudio Art - Photography
Jewish Life Hagshama Leadership
Talia Basch '20 - President
Strategic Communications - Public Relations
Matthew Ringler ‘20
- Islamic New Year, Sept. 20—Also called Day of Ashura
- Prophet's Birthday, Nov. 21—Celebrates the birthday of the Prophet Muhammed
Transportation to the Islamic Center in Sunbury is provided each Friday (when classes are in session). Please contact Religious & Spiritual Life at firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-372-4303 if transportation is needed.
- Rosh Hashanah, evening of Sept. 9 through the evening of Sept. 11, is the Jewish New Year and falls on the first and second days of the Jewish month of Tishri (September/October).
- Yom Kippur, evening of Sept. 18 through the evening of Sept. 19, is the Jewish festival of the Day of Atonement. The most sacred day of the Jewish calendar.
- Sukkot, evening of Sept. 23 through the evening of Sept. 30, is the Feast of Tabernacles. We booth (Sukkah) on Degenstein Lawn.
- Hannukkah, (Chanukah) evening of Dec. 2 through evening of Dec. 10, is the Festival of Lights.
- Christmas, Dec. 25—Commemoration of the Nativity of Jesus
Other Significant Celebrations on Campus
- SU Candlelight Service—Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.—A Cherished gathering that includes candle lighting and carols as well as traditional readings, songs and prayers.
Dec. 10, 2019
At one of our most cherished traditions, more than 1,600 members of the university and surrounding communities gather in Weber Chapel. The service includes candle lighting and carols, as well as traditional readings, songs and prayers in celebration of the season. Attendees are asked to bring a kid-friendly, non-perishable food item.Read More
Provides educational, cultural, and social involvement opportunities for Jewish students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity.
Encourages Christians on campus through weekly on-campus worship services, Bible studies and other fellowship activities.
Encourages passionate Christian faith through worship, fellowship and service opportunities.
An organization for students who are interested in going into professional Christian ministry.
Students with diverse religious and non-religious perspectives bring people together to work for a better world for all.
An organization devoted to helping students learn about and grow in their Roman Catholic faith.
A national, ecumenical ministry that builds houses in partnership with God's people in need .
A non-denominational Christian ministry that reaches out to local high school students by building relationships through meetings and events.
Become a leader for the church by training in Bible study, gospel-driven discipleship and evangelism.