Faith & Meaning

The Office of Faith & Meaning provides support and advocacy for religious and spiritual life — along with other meaning-making pursuits — at F&M. We support all students on campus, including those deeply rooted in a particular religious tradition, those seeking, and those who don’t identify with a religious tradition at all.

F&M's is a rich tapestry of religious communities. Students of faith seeking spiritual fulfillment and fellowship, as well as those who are on a faith journey, will find many opportunities available to them at F&M, where the various religious groups on campus are open to everyone. We value the importance of critical thinking and meaning-making within the context of a liberal arts education. We recognize the importance of college as a time when students seek to deepen their understanding of themselves and others. We support students deeply rooted in a particular religious tradition, those seeking, and those students with who don’t identify with a religious tradition at all. We provide opportunities for contemplation and reflection. We value religious pluralism and provide opportunities for students to engage and learn from one another across different religious and nonreligious identities for the purpose of building religious literacy, fostering respect for others, and creating opportunities for cooperation.

Opportunities & Resources

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Direction is an opportunity for you to explore, develop, and deepen your spiritual life, however you may define it. Spiritual direction is a time-honored term for a conversation (or series of conversations), ordinarily between two persons, in which one person consults another, called a spiritual director, about the ways in which the sacred (as you understand it) may be shaping your life. It is an opportunity to ask questions, reflect, cultivate an interior life, and explore the ways that your spiritual life shape your decisions and development.  Spiritual direction is open to all students from any religious, spiritual, or secular backgrounds at no charge.

You will agree on a time to meet, usually once a month for an hour, talking one-on-one in a quiet space. Spiritual direction can also be experienced in a small group. If you are interested in exploring spiritual direction, please email Dr. Joe Pritchett at

Please note: Spiritual direction is NOT counseling or psychotherapy and should not be used as a replacement for either.

Dining Options & Exemption for Religious Reasons

Dining on Campus

The chefs on campus work closely with those who have specific dietary needs due to religious affiliation. If you keep Kosher or Halal, we have an area in the dining hall called KIVO, which stands for Kosher, International, Vegan, and Organic. This space is a Star K certified kosher dining facility, and also houses Trellis, our entirely plant-based dining option.

Meal Plan Exemption Process

In unique circumstances, the College may exempt a student from the required meal plan for religious reasons. Please note that a meal plan exemption will only be granted when the Dining Services program cannot meet the nutrition needs of a student.

Before requesting any exemption students are required to meet with the Director of Dining Services to inquire about all of the dining options available. The goal of this process is to provide students with the tools they need to actively manage their dietary needs within the residential dining program. A registered dietician is also available to consult with students as needed.

If you'd like to discuss this process further before beginning, please feel free to contact the Director for Faith and Meaning, Dr. Joe Pritchett, at 

Step 1

Meet with the Director of Dining Services to determine if they can meet your specific needs.

Step 2

If it is determined that Dining Services cannot meet your needs, please submit the appropriate exemption request form below. You are also required to have a religious leader who is familiar with the dietary needs of your religious tradition to complete a form. The link to that form is below. Once that is completed, you can upload it to your form. 

Fall Deadline: August 1

We recommend applying by June 1 so your account can be adjusted prior to the fall billing cycle.

Spring Deadline: December 1

We recommend applying by November 1 so your account can be adjusted prior to the spring billing cycle.

Complete applications must be received by the last day of the second week of classes for either term to avoid charges. After this date, even if an exception is approved, a per day fee will be charged by Dining Services.  

Please note:

    • Exemptions for the following reasons will not be considered: financial, vegan/vegetarian/gluten free diet, work/class/practice schedules, access to a kitchen, or personal preferences. 
    • A written statement from a religious leader does not guarantee the student will receive a meal plan exemption.
    • You will be notified of the decision of your exemption request via your F&M email account.
    • You have an obligation to pay for your meal plan until your exemption request is approved.
    • Please keep a copy of the documentation that you submit for your files. 
    • Questions regarding the Meal Plan Exemption Policy can be directed to the Review Committee by e-mailing: or

Religious Spaces

Religious Clubs & Organizations

Agape Christian Fellowship

F&M Agape Christian Fellowship seeks to facilitate Asian Christian's relationship with God and with each other.

Learn more


At Chabad we seek to develop accessible and meaningful Jewish experiences for members of the Franklin and Marshall community. Chabad seeks to be a "home away from home" for Jews at F&M and offers a wealth of social, educational and spiritual programs.

Learn more

Diplomat Christian Fellowship

We live out "I am second" by serving others and serving God.

Learn more


Every Jewish Student at Franklin and Marshall College will commit to an enduring Jewish life! This will be accomplished through the effort of the staff in partnership with the students and the KCJL Board of Directors.

Learn more

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

InterVarsity seeks to welcome every Diplomat into an authentic Christian community that trusts in Jesus, learns from Jesus, responds to Jesus, and spreads to every corner of Franklin & Marshall as faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

Muslim Students Association

The purpose of the organization is not excluded to students of Islamic religion only:

    1. Educate the F&M student body about the peaceful religion of Islam.
    2. Foster a safe, spiritual, social, and academic environment for Muslim students in F&M.
    3. Serve as a liaison between the Muslim student body and the college administration / Diplomatic Congress during planning for religious holidays — Ramadan and Eid — and for ensuring the needs for Muslim students are accommodated as desired by the college administration and the Diplomatic Congress.
    4. Enhance student learning about diverse cultures of Islamic Countries via public campus events.

Learn more

Guidelines for Religious Clubs

Welcome and Gratitude

I wish to thank students for exploring faith and meaning as part of their Liberal Arts experience. This journey invites you into the world of critical thinking, meaning making, and reflection. It is our hope that you will apply these lessons as you explore your faith life and continue to develop your worldview.

We are also grateful to volunteers who serve as guests and community partners in religious life at F&M. All of our religious clubs exist because they fill a need that our students have expressed. As staff from religious organizations serve our students, we also welcome them as our guests to mentor students in their process of becoming leaders on campus.

Club Council

We encourage all groups to become official organizations of the College and expect you will go through this process. The times when this is an exception is when a faith group is
not able to gather enough students to organize in this way.

There are times when it is important to have a small representation of a faith tradition without going through this process. If this should be the case, we invite those groups to
maintain a close relationship with the Director for Faith and Meaning, who can serve as a guide with the faculty/staff advisors.

There are some traditions where religious and cultural traditions come together and the students may decide to affiliate as a religious group or a cultural group. When this
happens the Director for Faith and Meaning and the Office of Multicultural Affairs will work together to help students observe their tradition in a full way.

Faculty/Staff Advisors

Every student club should have a faculty/staff advisor even when also working with and outside guest/community partner.This will also help groups maintain boundary issues on trips, retreats and group facilitation where a mentor is helpful and appropriate. By having two people, the chance of securing the presence of at least one person at important events is possible.

Outside Guests/Community Partner Status

There are some groups who are resourced by outside organizations. Staff members from these organizations are not F&M staff and serve as guests at the discretion of the Office of Faith and Meaning.

All outside guests/volunteers are required to go through the F&M Human Resources Department. A background check is required to be on file for all of the guests who are serving students, and they must attend a brief orientation in the Human Resources Department prior to starting as well. To begin this process, they must contact the Director for Faith and Meaning. Once this process is complete they are  considered Community Partners.

Religious Preference Lists

Every fall students are invited to fill out a religious preference form provided by the Registrar. This information is confidential and protected by the College. When those results are complete, a list is given to the Director of Faith and Meaning.

Multi-faith Resource Room (MRR)

The Multi-faith Resource Room is located on the ground level of the Steinman College Center (SCC). This room is available for all religious clubs to use for gatherings, meetings or special events. We ask that you contact the Director of Faith and Meaning to reserve this space for regular meetings.

The key for the room is located at the Information Desk in the Atrium of the SCC. A current student needs to give their student identification to a person working at the desk and they will receive the key. When they are finished using the room the key must be returned to the desk and the student will get the ID back.

There is a bulletin board outside of this room. It is encouraged to use if a group would like to post information about current events or programs.


Vans are available for students to use for off campus events. We ask that you connect with the Auxiliary Services in the Steinman College Center and follow their process for driver certification.


Opportunities for Sharing Traditions

We are very glad that we have such a rich diversity of religious traditions on our campus and believe that this diversity of identities, beliefs, and traditions will continue to grow. We also want each group to share the richness of their faith with others, and encourage opportunities for students to engage meaningfully and cooperatively across different religious and nonreligious identities. At the same time we ask that you respect our understanding that efforts to convert people to your tradition is not encouraged at F&M. Information and events should be available for all who wish to participate. We do not want students to be approached in a way that is confrontational or harassing. Religious clubs and individuals should not seek to impose one tradition on to others. It is
appropriate for students to respectfully engage, share their traditions, beliefs and values, seek to listen to understand, and share resources when asked.

We also encourage community partners and advisors to be available to people who have questions and who may be searching for a faith tradition. We hope and celebrate opportunities where they can serve as a resource for those seeking out meaning and purpose in their lives.

We are here to provide each person religious and spiritual opportunities that will bring meaning to their lives. We also seek to cultivate an atmosphere of respect among those
from different religious and nonreligous identities, and  herefore wish to protect students from harassment that may violate that mutual respect and understanding.

Interfaith Student Council (ISC)

Because of our commitment to appreciating diverse religious and nonreligious identities at F&M, we invite each religious club or group to select a representative to serve on the ISC.

The ISC meets weekly during the academic year to organize programs that facilitate meaningful learning between the diverse faith traditions on campus. This group will seek to facilitate religious literacy, develop respect across difference, create space to explore difference, and build opportunities for students to act cooperatively together toward common goals. They will also serve as a resource for advocacy and educational opportunities on campus.

Even if the representative is unable to attend meetings due to other commitments, we hope that this representative will be a liaison between the Office of Faith and Meaning and the organization they represent.

It is important that the person from each group value what it means to be in an interfaith community. If possible, we ask that the representative not be a person who is already serving in a leadership role in their organization. This creates new opportunities for leadership, and we find that people are better able to give the time necessary when they are do not also hold a leadership role with the group they are representing.

Cultivating interfaith cooperation through the ISC and the Office of Faith and Meaning is not only a way for our various religious clubs to find intersections for shared purpose, but
it also facilitates opportunities for learning and growth. A deep and growing body of research shows us that when students engage in interfaith opportunities on campus, they not only develop respect for and the ability to work with those who are different from them, but also deepen their understanding of and commitment to their own religious or nonreligious identity. Therefore, interfaith cooperation not only gives students the skills to work cooperatively with others who are different than them, but it also supports and deepens the connection they have with their own tradition as well.


It is important for each group to remain in communication with the Director for Faith and Meaning. We ask that you include the Director in any regular emails that are sent out by your organization. It is also important to keep the Director informed of regular meetings so that they can pass on that information to people who seek out a religious club/organization.

The resource room on the second floor of the SCC is available to all groups to prepare banners that can be hung from the Atrium balcony and in the Blue Line (if space is available). There is also a copy machine in the resource room for flyers. The student activities staff will be glad to help with distribution of flyers around campus. Posters can be made through the Office of Communications located on the third floor of Old Main. There is a fee for these.

It is also important for events and meetings to be posted on the college calendar. Your event can be closed to the F&M community only, students only or open to the wider public.

Co-Sponsoring Events

It is appropriate to seek out opportunities for co-sponsorship of initiatives and events. This may include religious clubs seeking partnership with the Office of Faith and Meaning, other offices on campus, or academic departments. Furthermore, other academic departments or offices may be seeking opportunities to partner with religious clubs. Please contact the Director for Faith and Meaning to discuss partnership opportunities or with questions about co-sponsorship opportunities.

Room Reservations

Please go to the appropriate place on the college website to access the room reservationists. All reservations go through this process. You may be directed to other people on campus for some requests. There are some spaces are managed by people directly involved in the care of specific buildings.

Contact Information and Further Questions

If you have any questions about the policies listed here, about a religious club, or about faith and meaning at F&M, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Faith and Meaning. Contact information is listed here:

Dr. Joe Pritchett
Office: Second Floor, Steinman College Center
Phone: 717-358-5814

Places of Worship in Lancaster

Christian Places of Worship

Church Finder is an excellent tool to find Christian churches in Lancaster.

Islamic Places of Worship

United Islamic Association of Lancaster County

739 West Vine Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 391-6211

Islamic Community Center of Lancaster

275 Hess Blvd
Lancaster, PA 17601
Phone: (717) 546-4225 

Jewish Places of Worship

Degel Israel Congregation

1120 Columbia Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
Phone: (717) 397-0183

Temple Beth El

1836 Rohrerstown Road
Lancaster, PA 17601
Rabbi Stephan Parnas
Phone: (717) 581-7891

Temple Shaarai Shomayim

75 East James St.
Lancaster, PA 17603
Rabbi Jack P. Paskoff
Phone: (717) 397-5575

Mindfulness at F&M

n recognizing the benefits that cultivating a mindfulness practice can bring, Mindfulness at F&M works with students, faculty, and staff to promote well-being, compassion, and a renewed sense of awareness across campus.

Learn more

Contact Faith & Meaning

Dr. Joe Pritchett

Office: Second Floor, Steinman College Center
Phone: 717-358-5814