Student Life

students in class

Welcome to Student Life at Vanderbilt Divinity School!

Vanderbilt Divinity School's student body consists of about 220 students from 38 states as well as several foreign countries. The student body represents more than twenty unique religious traditions. Our student body ranges greatly in age from early 20s to late 60s, with a median age of 27. Currently, the gender breakdown in the school is almost equal parity among males and female. We affirm students who identify as trans* or gender-nonconforming.

International Students

Vanderbilt University has a large international community representing more than ninety countries. The university welcomes the diversity international students bring to the campus and encourages academic and social interaction at all levels. Both international applicants and undocumented applicants living in the U.S. are eligible for admission and scholarship support at Vanderbilt Divinity School.

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Student Organizations

All organizations must renew their registration annually in order to be recognized by the University as a Registered Student Organization (RSO). Organizations that fail to renew their annual registration by the given deadline, will result in having their Anchor Link account frozen. This status will prevent them from having access to their funds, reserving room spaces, or participating in the Student Involvement Fair. If you have not registered for the upcoming year, please

VDS Student Organizations

  • Al's Pub

    Mission: To foster community through happy hour and collaborative events with other groups.

    Officers/Board Members:

  • Black Sems

    Mission: To focus on the unique experience of black American seminarians.

    About: The Vanderbilt chapter of Black Seminarians was organized in 1977 as a means for supplying black students with a community that reflects and embodies the unique context of black Americans in a predominantly white educational framework. Membership includes all black students in the Divinity School and the Graduate Department of Religion, though people of all racial classifications are welcome and encouraged to participate in our programs and discussions.

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address:


    Mission: To address issues of homophobia and heterosexism in religious life, society, and the academy. GABLE

    • creates a "safe space" for the facilitation of conversations to include a diversity of sexualities and gender expressions.
    • supports the GBLTQIA community and their allies in the Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Graduate Department of Religion. •provides opportunities for discussion, advocacy, education, and community-building regarding issues that concern the greater GBLTQIA community.
    • promotes an open and affirming environment in classroom settings, academic gatherings, curriculum, and all other VDS related activities.
    • advances ministries that affirm the gifts and contributions of the GBLTQIA community.
    • and affirms the sexualities and gender expressions of individuals in our community in a manner that promotes fellowship and gaiety.

    About: The Office of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Concerns was organized in 1991 and is dedicated to addressing the issues of homophobia and heterosexism in religious life, society, and the academy. The Office provides a positive, safe environment that affirms the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons. It suggests ways in which the Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion can fulfill their commitment to confronting homophobia in our society; it provides educational opportunities for all members of the Divinity School/Graduate Department of Religion community.

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address

  • International Student Association

    Mission: To support international students and their questions to build a community.

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address:

  • Latinx Sems

    Mission: LAS seeks to create a communal space to embody and affirm diverse Latin@/American@ cultures.

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address:

  • The Methodist Student Association (MSA)

    Mission: MSA exists to provide opportunities for Methodist students to build community with one another and to engage in ecumenical conversation centered on issues impacting the Vanderbilt, Nashville, and global communities.

    See also Wesleyan Studies at VDS.

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address:

  • Poeisis

    Mission: Focuses on student creativity and allowing for artistic growth, expression, and incorporation within VDS.

    About: We focus on holding Arts and Conversation gatherings for creating and enjoying artistic expressions as well as engaging in theological dialogue regarding artistic expressions. We define art broadly and believe that all created beings have a creative spark. Considering yourself an artist is not required to join this organization.

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address:

  • The Presbyterian Student Association (PSA)

    Mission: To provide opportunities for leadership development, building relationships with other Presbyterians within the VDS community as well as in the Nashville Metro Area. PSA helps to foster personal spiritual growth and provide opportunities for discussion of critical issues that face the church and the world.

    About :This group intends to equip and nurture members involved in preparation for ministry, help discern the place of Presbyterians within the ecumenical context of VDS and the contemporary Christian community, and aid in affirming the faith and traditions of Presbyterians within the context of theological education.

    The PSA hosts several activities through-out the year. These consist of fellowship dinners, worship opportunities, ordination exam preparation, and community networking.

    Officers/Board Members: PSA consists of all interested members of the VDS/GDR community. The group is coordinated by a leadership council who serve on committees such as: fellowship, worship, finance, education, and outreach.

    Contact/Email Address:

  • Society of Cornelius

    About: The Society of St. Cornelius welcomes Catholics (active, inactive, past, and future), along with their spouses and partners, who are associated with Vanderbilt Divinity School or the Graduate Department of Religion. The society supports and enhances the religious lives of its members through conversation at regular meals and similar gatherings, by sponsoring prayer and worship, by sharing information on professional opportunities for lay persons, and by making the resources of the Catholic Church available to the Vanderbilt community. (Inclusive of all students, especially Lutheran, Episcopal and Orthodox)

    Officers/Board Members:

    Contact/Email Address:

  • Inactive Student Organizations
    • Eco-Concerns; Addresses theological and ethical engagement of environmental issues.
    • Economic Empowerment Coalition; Raises awareness on economic issues in Nashville and at Vanderbilt (e.g. living wagemovement, worker justice,etc.)
    • Goodmen; Supports the social, economic, educational, and political empowerment of male students of color preparing them to engage with academic, corporate, and nonprofit communities.
    • Marginalia: To the Least of These; Bears witness to the needs and experiences of the Nashville homelesscommunity
    • Office of Women's Concerns; Encourages discussion and awareness of women's issues.
    • PAUSE; Seeks to provide a safe space for atheist, agnostic, agnostic, non-deist, and other non-traditionals.
    • Sacred Borders (formerly Mosaic); Promotes dialogue and understanding amongst religious traditions
    • SHADES; Promotes awareness of the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of black women's experiences. Serving, Helping, and Affirming the Diversity in Every Sista'.
    • Students Exploring Chaplaincy; Open to anyone interested in learning about all the unique ministry opportunities in chaplaincy.
    • Taste; Promotes the exploration at the intersection of food, culture, and spirituality.
    • Translation; Promotes dialogue around self-identity and vocational discernment.
    • VADER-Vanderbilt Advocates for Disabilities Education and Research; Interested in bringing education and advocacy in the fields of disabilities to Vanderbilt

Event Planning

Student organizations and committees are invited to use the resources linked below. Successful events are often the result of careful planning. For additional resources, please see the Director of Student Life and Spiritual Formation.