A Word from the Chaplain of the University

Welcome to the life of the spirit at Brown University. Whether you are the devout, the curious, the skeptical, your birthright invitation within the Brown family is to an academic experience enriched by engagement and discernment. Wrestlings of the heart are predicates for Brown's multifaith team of chaplains. We work on them from within and beyond spiritual traditions, within and beyond academic disciplines, and in myriad settings with students, staff, faculty, and alumnae/i. 

Janet M. Cooper NelsonJanet M. Cooper NelsonThe spiritual and convictional diversity of the Brown family includes so much—the rigors of Ramadan, passionate pursuit of ethical conduct, the laws of Kashrut, ritual observances of Hinduism, Indian dance, feminist spirituality, the discipline of the Rosary, the epistemology of atheism, activism for social justice, Zen meditation, the Reformation’s scriptural legacy, and much more.

The same ear that hears Brown's chimes summoning students to class can also hear on campus the strains of Gospel at Imani Jubilee, the chant of Hindu blessing, the stillness of Quaker meeting and Zen meditation, the dazzling discourse of Thursday Suppers, and the Multifaith Council, mugs clinking at OXFAM’s Hour Glass Cafe, the prayers of Christian fellowship, “Shabbat Shalom” at Hillel’s door, Jumuah prayer at the Muslim Student Center, the support of the Bereavement Group, the midnight conversations at Interfaith House, the lyrics of inclusion from a Call to Worship—a lively group of progressive Protestants.

We truly look forward to knowing you, to sharing life’s joys and struggles, and, of course, to helping with directions through Brown’s labyrinth—whether to locate great coffee or any other worthy destination. Along the way do stop in and introduce yourself at the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life. Our offices are located on the fourth floor of the J. Walter Wilson Building.

The Reverend Janet Cooper Nelson,
Chaplain of the University