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Religious Advisors

 

Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist and Protestant professionals currently serve as the Religious Advisors. The Advisors are available to support all students, faculty and staff, regardless of religious/spiritual identity, including having no religious/spiritual identity. Advisors also conduct services, lead text study groups, coordinate programs, assist student religious organizations, and work closely with Student Affairs staff and other campus partners.

Full-time religious advisors who are College employees:

Michael RambergRabbi Michael Ramberg
Jewish Student Advisor
Office: Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall 109
E-mail: mramber1@swarthmore.edu

Rabbi Michael’s favorite thing to do is talk to people, so please be in touch to set up a time to talk! Michael holds a B.A. in Political Science from Williams College—further proof that your liberal arts major doesn’t determine your future work. After college he received a Fulbright fellowship to live and study in Peru. Michael was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 2012. Before coming to Swarthmore he worked as College Rabbi and Hillel Director at Ursinus College. When he's not at Swarthmore Michael serves as co-chair of the board of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, an interfaith, immigrant-led movement for justice and dignity for immigrants, spends time with his family and, when he's lucky, gets to play soccer.

 

Umar Abdul RahmanUmar Abdul Rahman
Muslim Student Advisor
Office: Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall 112
Office hours: Mon. and Wed. 10am-6pm; Fri. 2pm-6pm
Phone: 610-328-5747
E-Mail: mrahman1@swarthmore.edu

Umar Abdul Rahman holds a B.A. in International Relations (Middle Eastern Studies focus) and Economics from Lehigh University. After graduation he received a Fulbright Grant and spent the next year in Sana'a, Yemen, conducting research on "The Impact of Marxism on Islamic Thought." Umar subsequently received his J.D. from Temple University's School of Law. Prior to beginning work in religious life and pastoral care, Umar practiced immigration and human rights law, specifically deportation defense, for a number of years in the Philadelphia area. Umar is currently completing an M.A. in Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at the Hartford Seminary. In addition to his present course of study at the seminary, Umar has studied various aspects of the Islamic faith in both traditional and academic settings in the U.S. as well as abroad. He continues independent study of the Islamic tradition focusing much of his attention on Sufism and different approaches to Islamic law. Umar has been an active member of the local Muslim community and was one of the founders of the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization.  

 

Sabrina LaBelle Sabrina LaBelle
Protestant Student Advisor
Office: Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall 203
Office hours: Tues. and Thurs. 10am-2pm; Wednesday by appointment
Phone: 609-560-0003Pastor Sabrina was born and raised in New Jersey. She received her BA in Political Science from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, and then went on to get an MA in International Economics from the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK and a second MA in Archaeology from the University of Chicago. Following her tenure at the University of Chicago, she felt called into the ministry of Word and Sacrament and became a candidate for ministry within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA). She attended Princeton Seminary and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. Pastor Sabrina was ordained in January 2010 and began her first call as pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Dana Point, CA. In January 2020, Pastor Sabrina and her family made the decision to move closer to their families on the East Coast. Sabrina has a husband, Chris, and a stepson, Gabriel, who is attending California Lutheran University. She also has two younger children, son Oliver and daughter Cecilia.

 

Affiliate Religious Advisors

Affiliate advisors are not College employees. They do not have offices on campus but are on campus at various times to work with students from a particular religious group. They meet regularly with the Interfaith team and sign the College’s Religious Advisors policies and agreements.

John AmesFather John Ames
Catholic Student Advisor
Office: Bond 31
Office hours: Monday 10am-6pm
E-mail: rev.johnames@gmail.com

Father John Ames is an ordained Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in parishes and taught high school. He has been on the faculty of several local colleges and universities. As Deputy Secretary for Catechetical Formation, he supervised religious education for the Archdiocese. Most recently, he was the Dean of the School of Theological Studies at Saint Charles Seminary in Philadelphia. Father Ames is the Catholic Chaplain for Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. In addition to serving at the colleges, he is pastor of Saint Colman Parish in Ardmore. He earned his doctorate in theology from The Catholic University of America.

 

Hojin ParkHojin (Hye Sung) Park, Ph.D
Buddhist Student Advisor
Phone:  215.884.8942 x-211
E-Mail: hpark5@swarthmore.edu

Hojin (Hye Sung) Park is a Won Buddhist minister, Dharma Chaplain and faculty at Won Institute of Graduate Studies. Hojin is her Buddhist name. She obtained her doctorate Degree in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University in Maryland and her Masters in Applied Meditation Studies at the Won Institute of Graduate Studies. She earned her undergraduate degree and Master's degree from Wonkwang University in Iksan, South Korea with a Major in Won Buddhist studies. Rev. Park has taught Buddhist Pastoral  Counseling and Won Buddhist Scriptures to students at Won Institute. She has been working as a Buddhist spiritual advisor at Swarthmore and Buddhist chaplain at University of Pennsylvania

 

Asheq Fazlullah
Interfaith & Muslim Advisor
Email: afazlul1@swarthmore.edu

Asheq Fazlullah grew up in the Delaware Valley, graduating from Conestoga Senior High School in Berwyn, PA. He earned a B.S. in Economics from Penn State, University Park and embarked on a career in investment management that took him to Boston, Hartford and New York, culminating as a Senior Vice President for Real Estate Derivatives trading at KBC Financial Products. Starting in 2013 Asheq turned to community work. He has served on the Executive Committee of CAIR-Philadelphia and as a speaker for the Delaware Valley Speaker Bureau, the local affiliate of ING. In this capacity he has given dozens of presentations on Islam and Muslim Americans at a variety of venues including faith groups, public schools, private schools, universities, senior centers, law enforcement and local civic organizations, across the Greater Delaware Valley region. Asheq has served on the Board of Interfaith Philadelphia, as well as its Diversity Committee and has worked on its Walking the Walk program for teens. Currently he works as a Curricular Consultant on religious literacy training in its Leadership Institute. Asheq has taken Graduate coursework in Theology at Villanova University and Islam at The Hartford Seminary. He also serves with Campus Ministry at Villanova University in the role of Muslim Student Advisor.

 

Representatives of other religious or spiritual organizations who are not members of the staff or student body are not permitted to work with students on the Swarthmore campus.