Welcome to the Office for Religious Life

Our Mission

“To guide, nurture and enhance spiritual, religious and ethical life within the Stanford University community.”

We are collectively committed and devoted to ensuring lively, thoughtful and supportive contexts for Stanford students, faculty and staff who wish to pursue spiritual interests. We recognize that a spiritual/religious journey can be an important, balancing complement to the numerous challenges one faces in the pursuit of academic and career goals.

While each one of us participates in and leads worship and study in her/his own religious traditions, our primary objective as a staff is to collaborate as a multi-faith team and work with all constituents of this dynamic university.

Our aim is to promote enriching dialogue, meaningful ritual, and enduring friendships among people of all religious backgrounds.


News Features

 Windhover opens on Stanford Campus

October 8, 2014, Stanford Report, By Kathleen Sullivan

When visitors walk into Windhover, the first painting they’ll see is Big Red, a large abstract oil painting of a kestrel flying in a red sky, a work that artist Nathan Oliveira returned to again and again over the 25 years it stood in his studio. Continue reading…

 Dean Jane Shaw: A Q&A

October 7, 2014, Stanford Magazine, By Sam Scott

Jane Shaw, Stanford’s Dean for Religious Life, grew up in a setting that makes MemChu look like new construction. Her childhood home was on the grounds of England’s Great Hospital in Norwich, where the ill and aged have convalesced since 1249, and where her father served as Master of the institution. Continue reading…

Photo Essay: Windhover Contemplation Center

October 3, 2014, The Stanford Daily, By Rahim Ullah and Kristen Stipanov | Managing Editor of Photography

 On Schooling Souls

September/October 2014, Stanford Magazine

Retiring Dean McLennan reflects on his 14-year campus ministry.

WHEN WILLIAM “SCOTTY” MCLENNAN got started as dean for religious life in 2000, he was pondering questions about interfaith relations in a changing America. Then came 9/11, and the questions seemed to echo internationally. They had become intertwined with war, peace and existence in a global society. Continue reading…