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Staff and Religious Advisors

Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, and Protestant professionals currently serve as the Religious Advisors. The Advisors are available as counselors, resources, and friends regardless of students' religious affiliations. Advisors also conduct services, lead text study groups, coordinate programs, assist student religious organizations, and work with the Dean's staff.

Director of Religious and Spiritual Life, Dr. Joyce Tompkins

Joyce ThompkinsOffice: Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall 108
Office hours: Mon. and Fri. all day; open office hours Wed. and Thurs. 1-4; also available by appointment
Phone: 610-328 -8328

Joyce holds a B.A. in Classics from Cornell University, did graduate work in religion at Yale University and graduated with an M.Div from the General Theological Seminary in New York. She received her Doctor of Ministry in interfaith chaplaincy from Hartford Seminary. She is ordained in the Episcopal Church and has served as a parish minister, a counselor for European au pairs, and as counseling staff at Marquette University.

Jewish Student Advisor, Rabbi Michael Ramberg

Michael RambergOffice: Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall 109
Office hours: Tuesday 3-4:30 and Thursday 10-12 pm and by appointment

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.

Catholic Student Advisor, Father John Ames

John AmesOffice: Bond 31
Office hours: Monday 10am-6pm

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.

Muslim Student Advisor, Umar Abdul Rahman

Umar Abdul RahmanOffice: Hormel-Nguyen Intercultural Center at Sproul Hall 112
Office hours: Mon. and Wed. 10am-6pm; Fri. 2pm-6pm
Phone: 610-328-5747

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.  


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

  • Lindsey McAleese, staff worker for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national evangelical Christian organization 
  • Rabbi Eli Gurwitz, Director of Chabad House on the Haverford campus

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.