Header Image

Alison Boden

The Rev. Dr. Alison L. Boden is Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University, a position she has held since August 2007. Previously, she served 12 years as dean of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and senior lecturer in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, and as co-chair of its Human Rights Program board.

Dean Boden is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and served as the Protestant chaplain at Union College as well as the University Chaplain for Bucknell University before joining the University of Chicago in 1995. She received her A.B. in drama from Vassar College, her M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. from the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.  She has authored numerous articles and chapters on religion in addition to a book, “Women’s Rights and Religious Practice” (Palgrave 2007).

At Princeton and Chicago, her course offerings have included such topics as religion and human rights, the rights of women, and religion and violence.  She has participated in a variety of capacities with numerous non-governmental organizations, including Religions for Peace, the Institute for Global Engagement, UNFPA, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, and the Carter Center, particularly on the topic of women of faith as intentional agents of peace-building and security.

Dean Boden preaches regularly in the University Chapel.


“Novitiate,” A Movie Screening

Thursday, October 4

A 2017 American drama film, “Novitiate” follows the life of a young woman who starts to question her faith as she trains to become a nun.

Maggie Betts ’99, Director and Screenwriter, in conversation with Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel

Garden Theatre (2 hrs, 3 min running time)


Success Without Fame or Fortune: A New Paradigm

Friday, October 5

This interactive session will explore how we evaluate success, influence, and achievement and rethink how we define a successful and important life. Participants will form smaller groups to discuss new ways to approach how we judge our choices.

Pre-read: “Second Opinion: Another View of Influence” by Jill Dolan

Moderator: Jill Dolan, Dean of the College, Annan Professor in English and Professor of Theater Studies in the Lewis Center for the Arts

Small group discussions facilitated by:

Betsy Armstrong, Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School

Wendy Belcher, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and African American Studies 

Sandra Bermann, Professor of Comparative Literature and Head of Whitman College

Alison Boden, Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel

Wendy Heller, Scheide Professor of Music History and Chair, Department of Music

Melissa Lane, Class of ’43 Professor of Politics; Director, Center for Human Values

Rosina Lozano, Assistant Professor of History and the Program in Latino/a Studies

Erika Milam, Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies, History of Science

Julie Roth, Rabbi, Center for Jewish Life

Nicole Shelton, Professor of Psychology; Head of Butler College

Stacey Sinclair, Professor of Psychology; Head of Mathey College

Stacy Wolf, Professor of Theatre, Director, Program in Music Theatre, Lewis Center for the Arts