As part of our mission the Office of the Chaplain works with student organizations and our campus and neighborhood partners to contribute to the needs of the Philadelphia community. Much of this work takes place through CHORDS, the community partnership program led by our office and PRISM, Penn’s interfaith student leadership group. Since its founding in 1998 (under it’s original name ‘PUCFSN’), CHORDS has worked to connect the Penn community with communities of faith, schools and other neighborhood organizations that serve West Philadelphia. Our program goals are:

  • to support communities of faith, schools and other neighborhood organizations in their roles as neighborhood anchors and service providers.
  • to create service opportunities for Penn students and staff that provide real opportunities to support these important community partners.
  • to build on campus partnerships between religious student organizations and to create opportunities for interfaith dialogue for all Penn students through regular community service events.

In 2010-11 over 400 student volunteers took part in more than 25 community projects. Our volunteers were drawn from 27 different campus groups (including religious, service and academic organizations), representing 9 major world religious traditions.

For 2011-12 we are excited to join with colleges and universities nationwide in the White House Interfaith & Community Service Campus Challenge (click here to see a description of the challenge and an introductory video from President Obama).

In response to the White House Challenge CHORDS will be taking this opportunity to deepen our ongoing community partnerships with more regular service opportunities, internships and student leadership training.

For more information about the CHORDS program contact:

Steve Kocher
Associate Chaplain


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