Pratima Dharm was appointed as the first Hindu priest (Chaplain) at Georgetown University. Dharm began her assignment at the University on 1 October 2014. She recently retired from the US Army as its first Hindu priest.
Dharm has been appointed to serve the religious needs of its Hindu students, whose number has increased in the University in recent years. At the University, she will lead the weekly Hindu pujas or prayer services and will also look at programmes that could better Hindu education on campus. She will also work closely with other religious groups on campus.
• She has served in Army bases and hospitals around the world including a yearlong deployment in Iraq
• Dharm is a native of Mumbai, who went to the United Sates in March 2001 and began her stint with the Army in 2006
• She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology from Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey University in Mumbai and Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, respectively
• She also holds a master’s degree in theology from Ashland Seminary, a Christian seminary in Ohio and Michigan
• She is trained in the Vaishnav Hindu tradition and endorsed by Chinmaya Mission
• Georgetown University was founded in 1789 and is the oldest Jesuit and Catholic University in the US. It is a private research university in Washington, DC
• In 1968, it became the first Catholic university to hire a rabbi to serve as a chaplain
• It is also the first American university to hire a Muslim cleric to serve as a full-time chaplain