Spiritual Development

The office of Spiritual Development offers opportunities for students as they seek to deepen and enhance their spiritual and religious lives.

These include: counseling, which addresses questions of spirituality and religious faith and its application to issues and challenges at school and home; small groups for students wanting to explore their spiritual lives; workshops on spiritual development, meditation and prayer; interfaith services and discussions; holy day observances and special event celebrations.

The office provides a listing of places of worship offered by local faith communities. Information about different religious traditions and holy days is also available. The University also has student-run faith groups that work with the Office of Spiritual Development to sponsor activities and to provide community and support for interested students.

New to PhilaU? Please take our Faith Affiliation Survey so that we can know how to best serve your needs and click on the slides below to learn more about what the Spiritual Development office has to offer.


Rabbi ScheinRabbi Susan Schein serves as the Coordinator for Spiritual Development of Philadelphia University, providing leadership and direction for comprehensive programs and services designed to meet the spiritual needs of the university community. She is responsible for addressing the needs of the various faith organizations on campus, advancing interfaith dialogue and social justice programming, and ensuring that students have institutional support as they clarify their beliefs and work toward a meaningful academic and personal life. She especially values the role the campus community plays in this way, as her own spiritual life was expanded and strengthened during her undergraduate and graduate school years. Rabbi Schein received her ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, an M.A. in German Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. in Political Science and German Language from the University of Rochester. She has served a congregation in Yardley, PA, students at Bucknell, Northern Kentucky and Washington University, and patients and residents at local hospitals and elder care centers. Over the course of her lifetime, she has studied and worked in Israel and Germany and been involved with programs and institutions that span the Jewish community, from Reform to Lubavitch. Her love of the outdoors inspired her to complete two Outward Bound courses and bicycle across the U.S. For fun, she juggles!


Melisa RichesMelissa Riches is the Campus Representative for the Coalition of Christian Outreach (CCO), serving as the co-advisor for Cornerstone and developing Christian-themed programming through Spiritual Development. She recently graduated from Eastern University with a B.A. in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies, and has worked with several ministries in academic, camp, and church settings. Through the CCO, Melissa is now partnering with Pilgrim Church in Manayunk (pilgrimphilly.org) to help students connect to the local church and see how their faith impacts every area of their lives. As someone with a very analytical mind, she is especially passionate about helping students process through challenging questions of faith and apologetics.

To learn more, please visit our office, or contact us:

Campus Location: Kanbar Campus Center, room 320
phone: (215) 951-6804
fax: (215) 951-2644
email: SpiritualDevelopment@PhilaU.edu