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Spiritual Life Staff

Rev. Dr. Robin Olson

Office: Student Center, 334
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (academic year only)
781.891.2418 or

I am honored to serve Bentley and our spirited team of Chaplains, Advisors, and student leaders in the Spiritual Life Center. I am a United Methodist clergywoman, and have served as a Pastor to four congregations in New York and Wisconsin, and as a Chaplain to Nazareth College in Rochester NY and, most recently, Boston University.  My degrees are from Colgate University, Boston University, and Wesley Theological Seminary in DC where I earned a Doctorate of Ministry in University Chaplaincy/Campus Ministry.  After college I lived in Israel for a year, which ignited my lifelong passion for interfaith literacy and dialogue. My greatest joy is in accompanying college students on their spiritual journeys. I enjoy creative spiritual practices, worship services and retreats, community service adventures, pastoral conversations, and sharing many cups of coffee and bars of chocolate with students.

Ms. Angela Howard-McParland

Catholic Chaplain and Bentley Catholic Assoc. Advisor
Office: Student Center, 334

I am so excited to begin a new ministry at Bentley!  I have spent the last ten years working with students in the Catholic community at Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.  I love working in campus ministry, especially getting to know students and accompanying them on their faith journey, with all of its twists and turns through young adult life. I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing about the community at Bentley and how I can help support the ministry.

Dr. Pierce Butler

Buddhist Practice Coordinator
Office: Adamian Academic Center, 080
Hours: by appointment only
781.891.2958 or

I am a lecturer and writer-in-residence in Bentley's English and Media Studies Department. On campus, I support the needs of our Buddhist community members. I have special interest in the practice of meditation; I also am a longtime love of the Sufi poet, Rumi, and coordinate an annual event at Bentley called the Celebration of Rumi each fall.

Br. Abdallah Ddumba

Muslim Chaplain/Bentley Islamic Community Advisor
Office: Student Center, 334
Hours: Wednesday 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Friday 2:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m (Friday prayer at 1:00 p.m).
978.406.5673 or

I am a spiritual leader and coexistence and conflict resolution practitioner; I obtained a degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Islamic University in Uganda. I am a certified Arabic teacher and a product of Brandeis University, where I graduated with a master’s degree in coexistence and conflict. Upon moving to the United States in the late 90s, I co-founded the Uganda America Islamic Foundation, and, in 2005, the Waltham Islamic Society, where I served as Imam until 2011. I am currently studying the contemporary Muslim challenges focused on how to improve and rebuild relations on three Abrahamic religions (Muslims, Christians and Jews). I welcome the conversation and dialogue to help achieve peace and unity. 

Rabbi Jeff Foust

Jewish Chaplain/Advisor to Hillel
Office: Student Center, 334
Hours: by appointment only
617.965.6970 or

I have many years of Hillel experience within the campus setting, holding posts at Oberlin College, the University of South Florida, MIT, and, most recently, 16 years at Bentley University. I am formerly the rabbi at Waltham's Temple Beth Israel and have passion for good conversation, Jewish history and mysticism, and exploring ways of creating quality free time in a society preoccupied with "busyness." I live in Newton with my wife and two children. You can connect with me on my website,

Minister Tonia Petty

Protestant Chaplain and Cru Bentley Advisor
Office: Student Center, 334
Hours: TBD

Pastor Tonia earned a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School, an MA in Higher Education Administration from Geneva College, and a BS from Howard University.   She also has certificates in Religion and Conflict Transformation and hospital chaplaincy.  As a part of her theological studies, she traveled to South Korea learning how faith-based organizations and business work together to serve distressed communities.

As a licensed American Baptist minister, Pastor Tonia  has worked with young adults in many contexts.  Her most recent work is at Mt. Ida College in Newton. 


Satya Prakash Saraswat

Hindu Resource Person
Office: Smith 413
Hours: by appointment only
781.891.3104 or

I am a professor of Computer Information Systems at Bentley and hold advanced degrees in computers and business administration from Georgia State University. As I come from a Brahmin family in northern India, I am deeply interested in Hindu ceremony, mythology and mysticism. I have studied the Vedic and classical Sanskrit, and have published papers connecting mythical thought with modern science. My hobbies are astronomy, history and world mythology.