Carnegie Mellon University

Spirituality Development Month

November is a showcase of Spiritual, Religious & Interfaith Life at Carnegie Mellon!

Join Religious & Spiritual Life Initiatives, The Council of Religious Advisors, and our religious and spiritual student organizations in celebrating the religious and spiritual diversity of our community. 

*Due to COVID-19, we will be highlighting on-campus events, virtual events, and other resources and activities for you to explore at your own pace and in your own space! 

Calendar of Events

Breaking the False Dichotomy between Science and Christianity
November 5, 2021
CUC Dowd

Come join North Way Christian Community for an evening of fellowship as we explore the history of the relationship between scientific understanding and Christian philosophy. We will delve into the reasons for the apparent contradictions between modern scientific inquiry and Christian culture, and offer an educational take proposing why modern Christian philosophy and apologetics at the academic level can coexist in harmony with a modern, empirically founded worldview.

Sponsored by North Way Christian Community

Sagan Fest 2021: GRIT - The Power of Passion and Persevernce with Angela Duckworth
November 10, 2021
CUC McConomy

The Humanist League at CMU invites you to an evening with Angela Duckworth, bestselling author of GRIT & recipient of MacArthur's "genuis" grant. She is to receive CMU's 2021 Carl Sagan Award.

From the author: "For most of my career, I've thought of my roles as professor and researcher as entirely separate. Recently, though, I've come to the realization that the goals that correspond to these roles—learning and discovery—are much the same. Or at least, they can be. When you optimize teaching, you discover things about behavior change; when you optimize behavior change, you are essentially teaching. This epiphany led me to create Grit Lab, an undergraduate course based on the theory and practice of behavior change. Here I present lessons learned teaching Grit Lab—while experimenting with a novel kind of research!"

Pie included following the event!! RSVP HERE

Sponsored by CMU's Humanist League

Queer Saints: The story of Wilgefortis
November 10, 2021
DH 1117

There have always been queer Christians and there will always be queer Christians. Although the flexibility of the tradition around gender and sexuality is often suppressed, together we'll explore the story of one very visible saint who lets us see ourselves in it: Wilgefortis, the princess who prayed to avoid an arranged marriage, went to sleep, and woke up with a beard that drove away her royal suitor. Historically, she was the patron saint of women seeking liberation from abusive husbands. More recently she has been honored by asexual, intersex, non-binary, and transgender people. We'll explore her story through a slideshow of artistic depictions, music, and video.

Sponsored by The Commonwealth of Oakland

Composting Religion: Remembering the past, cultivating the future
November 11, 2021

In celebration of Interfaith Youth Core alum Jen Bailey's new book "To My Beloveds: Letters on Faith, Race, Loss and Radical Hope" join the IFYC for an alumni round table discussion about the future of spiritual life. In times of great social upheaval and instability, what rituals, practices, and traditions do we carry forth to help us meet the urgency of this moment? How do we discern that which no longer serves us? What new innovations might we seed to craft a new way forward?

Please RSVP if you'd like to attend!

Sponsored by Interfaith Youth Core

Interfaith Shabbat
November 12, 2021
CUC Connan

A great modern Jewish thinker, referred to as Ahad Ha’am, famously said, “More than the Jewish people have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.”

Join Jewish students at CMU to learn about and experience the weekly Jewish holiday of rest and recharging, called Shabbat (or Shabbos). As the holiday starts each Friday at sundown, a ritual Shabbat Dinner will be served in CUC-Connan at 6 PM, preceeded by Shabbat prayer services at 5:15 PM.

Sponsored by Hillel Jewish University Center

Friendsgiving Dinner
November 18, 2021
11:00am-6:00pm Tepper
5:00-9:00pm Resnik & Schatz 

Friendsgiving is our annual Thanksgiving Feast at Carnegie Mellon where we celebrate friendship, gratitude, and food! Enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and some quality time with your friends! 

Sponsored by Dining Services, Religious & Spiritual Life Initiatives, and SLICE

Stay Grateful: Weekly Gratitude Session
Every Tuesday

Practices in gratitude can help us regulate our mood, build our resilience, and cultivate increased happiness. Join Wellness Initiatives to learn some strategies on how to be more grateful throughout your day. Bring a notebook and writing utensil. 

Join Gratitude Session via this link. 

Sponsored by Student Affairs Wellness Initiatives

Calling Card Hours
By appointment throughout November

Are you searching for your purpose or reflecting on the gifts you offer to those around you? Are you curious about how to make the most out of your unique interests and skills? Join Mandy Best for a one-on-one conversation and exercise (developed by author, speaker, and counselor Richard Leider) to reflect on your unique offering to the world. 

Please email Mandy Best ( to schedule. 

Sponsored by Religious & Spiritual Life Initiatives

Explore at Your Own Pace & In Your Own Space

Try 7 Days of Journaling

A daily journaling habit is said to reduce stress, clarify feeling, boost memory, and strengthen self-discipline. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Try using a prompt below everyday for one week.

Explore more about the benefits of journaling here.  

  • Write about a time in your life where you felt connected to something larger than yourself.
  • Write about someone in your life who you deeply respect who holds a different belief system. 
  • Write about something for which you have a profound sense of gratitude. 
  • Write about something you lost or gave away which can never be replaced. 
  • Write about one thing you would do if you knew you couldn't fail.
  • Write about the ways you are living in line with your deeply held values. 
  • Write a letter to your 10 year old self. Write a letter to your 100 year old self. 

Take a Virtual Tour of a Religious Site

Are you curious about the holy sites of religious different from your own? Do you need to scratch the itch of wanderlust that has been growing since March? Check out a virtual tour of a religious site from around the world! 

Religion Unplugged: 5 Religious sites you can visit virtually while you stay home

CARFLEO: Virtual Tours of Sacred Places (Catholic)

Himalayan Academy: Virtual Tour of Kauai's Hindu Monastery

Consider Resting

The Value of Communal Rest: Perspectives on Rest as a Spiritual Practice
(Pre-recorded panel discussion from Tartan Community Day 2020)

Join Religious & Spiritual Life Initiatives staff and a panel of CMU community members to explore the notion of rest as an individual and a community practice. We will discuss how various religious & spiritual worldview traditions encourage rest. This panel hopes to offer big-picture philosophical and theological teachings on rest, and practical rituals that may inspire your own routine. 

Explore All Saints' Day (Christian)
November 1

All Saints' Day is an opportunity for Christians to remember all saints, martyrs, and loved ones who have passed. Observances include: attending church services, praying for the dead, visiting cemeteries, eating soul cakes, lighting candles, 

Read more about All Saints and All Souls' Days

Ideas for practicing All Saints' Day at home

Explore Diwali
November 4, 2021

Diwali is the Indian festival of lights. ne of the most popular festivals of Hindusim, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance." Bring light into your home with candles (or twinkle lights if you live on campus!). Mindfully clean your space. Consider trying a Diwali snack recipe

Culture Trip: 5 Diwali customs and traditions you should know about