Princeton University  Chapel

Recognition of Chaplaincies

Princeton welcomes the presence of a wide range of denominational and non-denominational ministries reflecting all faiths and spiritual traditions.

Murray-Dodge Hall

Princeton University seeks to promote the presence of a vigorous and diverse religious community on campus, to foster interfaith dialogue, understanding and co-operation within that community, and to encourage its active participation in the public discourse of the University.

Recognized campus chaplains work closely with the Office of Religious Life to serve the pastoral needs of students, faculty and staff on-campus, to strengthen the faith communities they represent, and to model mutual respect, love of learning and care for the common good. In return, the University offers campus chaplains an acknowledged place within the University community, while honoring their relative autonomy as agents of the religious organizations to which they report.

This arrangement presupposes the University’s ability to ensure that the qualifications and actions of its campus chaplains reflect the highest professional standards for religious leaders in their own communities, that the religious organizations to which they report are in a position to provide adequate accreditation and supervision, and that the University’s own standards are met. To that end, all members of a chaplaincy’s staff are required to adhere to the policies enumerated in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities (www.princeton.edu/rrr).   Any student organization that is affiliated with a chaplaincy must also adhere to the guidelines that are detailed at www.princeton.edu/odus/activities/organizations/policies/.

All applications for recognition originate from a religious council, church or other religious body. The University does not consider applications from individuals. The sending agency submits its application in writing to the Dean of the Chapel and of Religious Life, along with a resumé of the individual it is nominating, a written commitment to pay his or her salary as campus chaplain, a certification that the agency has conducted a background check, including character references, and uncovered no information of concern, a certificate of insurance from the sending agency evidencing proof of general liability insurance of at least $1,000,000.00 per occurrence and evidence of medical insurance. Recognition is conferred by the Dean, in consultation with the Vice-President for Campus Life.

 To be recognized as a campus chaplain, one shall normally be:

  • Nominated and endorsed by a national or regional religious organization prepared to supervise and assume ultimate responsibility for his or her activity

  • Ordained and in good standing with an ordaining body and/or professionally trained for religious work

  • Experienced in campus ministry or related areas (e.g., youth work, congregational ministry, teaching, etc.)

  • Committed to ecumenical and interfaith co-operation

  • Equipped and eager to participate in the intellectual life of an academic community