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

Jane Shaw officially welcomed into the Stanford Community

May 7, 2015, Stanford Report

During a service that featured the official investiture by President John Hennessy and a sermon by actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, the Rev. Professor Jane Shaw was formally installed as dean for religious life.

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A spiritual practice is the foundation of a meaningful life, Oprah Winfrey tells Stanford audience

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April 21, 2015, Stanford Report

At the end of her daylong visit to Stanford, Oprah Winfrey, who has worked for nearly 30 years to empower, enlighten and inspire people to live their best lives, delivered “Harry’s Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life.” Continue reading…

Photo by L.A. Cicero.

Oprah Winfrey speaks on a meaningful life at Harry’s Last Lecture

April 21, 2015, Stanford Daily

On Monday night, Oprah Winfrey spoke to an audience at Memorial Church packed with students, faculty members, staff and other campus guests about her thoughts on a meaningful life. “Harry’s Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life” is put on annually by the Rathbun Fund in partnership with the Office for Religious Life. Continue reading…

Oprah Winfrey comes to campus as the 2015 Rathbun Visiting Fellow

April 21, 2015, Stanford Report

Oprah Winfrey shared her personal reflections on life Monday evening at Stanford when she delivered the annual “Harry’s Last Lecture on a Meaningful Life.” The lecture honors the late Stanford Law School Professor Harry Rathbun. Continue reading…